Kaka are a big iconic parrot, seen most often in the Waikato in large blocks of native forest where control of stoats and possums protects nesting birds from predation. Places like Maungatautari and Pureora are great places to see kaka throughout the year, but in winter some kaka regularly visit gardens, golf courses, and small patches of forest throughout the Waikato. Kaka are known to move up to hundreds of km, so there are big questions around where they come from, and how they use the landscape throughout the year, and understanding this is important for kaka conservation. Researchers at Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research are planning to try to start unraveling the mysteries of where these winter visitors come from, and citizen scientists can help.
If you see kaka you can record your observation on the Waikato Kaka Project on iNaturalist at https://inaturalist.nz/projects/waikato-kaka. If you are able to get a photo of the bird(s) to include in your observation, even better.
There are iNaturalist apps available to make it easy to record your kaka sightings (and all other living things). It’s also a great way to see where other people have seen kaka, so you can hopefully catch a glimpse too. Around Hamilton, I’ve seen them at Taitua Arboretum, Tills Lookout, the zoo, and the University campus.
The annual Forest and Bird Waikato plant sale is on this weekend, Saturday and Sunday starting at 8am and not before. First in, first served. Bring cash.
At 88 Nixon St, Hamilton East.
Down the Right of way. Park on the road, we have trolley and wheelbarrows.
Thanks to the nurseries who have given plants: Full Bloom, Forest Flora, Growing Spectrum, Bruntwood Nursery, and Oderings.
Plant sale proceeds will go towards supporting pest animal control in Hamilton, so that biodiversity within the city can flourish. Forest and Bird are supporting the work of Predator Free Hamilton and the trap library which is being set up at Go-Eco through Predator Free 2050.
DOC scientist Craig Gillies passes on some wise words from his mentor, Dick Veitch, “It’s not the ones you catch that matter, it’s the ones you didn’t catch”. It’s obvious when you think about it, but it seems to be surprisingly easy to forget. Read more in this profile on Craig on the PFNZ site.
The Waikato branch of Forest and Bird will be having its annual plant sale this year on the 6th of May, from 8am until midday, at 88 Nixon St, Hamilton East. As usual, there will be a great range of healthy trees, shrubs and grasses for you to select from, at good prices. There will not be EFTPOS, so please bring cash or cheque. The funds raised will continue to be put into the work of Predator-Free Hamilton.