In Kākāpō breeding season news…
April 18, 2019 8:03 PM   Subscribe

Kākāpō (previously on MetaFilter) are having a record breeding season: more than 76 chicks have hatched from 49 out of the 50 breeding females. Since there are only 147 adult Kākāpō on the planet (so few that Wikipedia lists every one of them by name) this is a very big deal. And in breaking Kākāpō news, Solstice just laid another 3 eggs last night - her third nest this year!
posted by simonw (21 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
I've been following Dr Andrew Digby on Twitter and his tweets are a constant source of delight: this really is a record-breaking breeding season, and he's stayed true to his promise to tweet about every birth.

Scroll through his media tweets for more rare fat nocturnal flightless parrot goodness.

posted by simonw at 8:06 PM on April 18, 2019 [9 favorites]

How many of the new chicks have any resemblance to Stephen Fry? Inquiring minds want to know!
posted by hippybear at 8:07 PM on April 18, 2019 [22 favorites]

I’ve been following Andrew Digby’s updates too, and it’s a continual delight.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:40 PM on April 18, 2019

This is amazing and fascinating and I just spent an hour scrolling backwards through the breeding season on Twitter. At one point the species was down to EIGHTEEN birds, what a great story!
posted by lemonade at 9:42 PM on April 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

Cmon fat New Zealand parrots...

We're all counting you...
posted by Windopaene at 9:45 PM on April 18, 2019 [7 favorites]

I LOVE that the wikipedia page has the full listing and lineage of each member.

The requisite Douglas Adams talk on the kakapo:
So, suddenly from there being a population of—we don’t know exactly of how many—probably not as many as a million, but hundreds of thousands of these birds, their population plunged at an incredible rate down into the low forties. Which is roughly where it is at the moment. And, so there are groups of people who dedicated their entire lives to try to save these animals, trying to conserve them. And one of the problems they’ve come across is that it’s all very well just to protect them—from predators—which is very very very hard to do. But the next problem they come across is the mating habits of the Kakapo. Because it turns out that the mating habits of the Kakapo are incredibly long drawn-out, fantastically complicated, and almost entirely ineffective. (Laughter.)
I'm glad it was more effective this year!
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:04 PM on April 18, 2019 [10 favorites]

Please tell me that these are related to the rare parrot that attempted to shag David Carwardine...
posted by jrochest at 10:40 PM on April 18, 2019

*Mark* Carwardine, and I'm sorry, I just didn't go far enough down the 'previously on Mefi' list. They are! Yay for the fat, inappropriately horny parrots.

That said, I suspect a sexual attraction to the heads of photographers rather than plump and seductive female parrots might be at the root of the species' reproductive woes...
posted by jrochest at 10:57 PM on April 18, 2019

This makes me so inexplicably happy!
posted by ninazer0 at 11:44 PM on April 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

At this rate, we’ll be overrun by them in a few decades!

I welcome our macron-sporting overbirds.

Not to be confused with the Macron-supporting birds....
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:30 AM on April 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Aw, the Kākāpō. So dumb they forget they can't fly, so sometimes they'll climb a tree, jump out, plummet to the ground, and waddle off wondering what happened. L'chaim, you absurd creatures.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:32 AM on April 19, 2019 [8 favorites]

such chonk!
posted by scruss at 4:28 AM on April 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

Our county school system had over 1500 fifth graders read Sy Montgomery’s Kakapo Rescue as part of their annual Battle of the Books. This is a wonderful update especially given the recent news on New Zealand’s troubles on other human-populated islands.
posted by childofTethys at 4:33 AM on April 19, 2019

I love these ridiculous fluff balls. So glad they had a good season!
posted by tobascodagama at 5:35 AM on April 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Aww, this is so nice to see!
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:11 AM on April 19, 2019

I will accept every bit of good news this week. And with cute photos of the newborn chicks!
posted by Dip Flash at 6:30 AM on April 19, 2019

Flightless birds are the best birds!
posted by aubilenon at 6:48 AM on April 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've been in an incredibly dour environmental literature class this semester. Just swimming in ideas about the end of our degredated world. But this really bolstered me. It doesn't have to all end!
posted by wellifyouinsist at 9:01 AM on April 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Douglas Adams would be proud.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 4:45 PM on April 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

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