Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 14/02/2011


I know I’ve already written a blog about these birds, but this photo was the one I had envisage when first I saw the two of them together. As with any wildlife photography, the subjects rarely move as you wish them to, though you can predict their actions to an extent. The two Macaws moved around on their branches constantly, and it was only after 15 minutes waiting that they appeared to be beak to beak – patience paying off.

Today also sees the publication of the world’s rarest bird photo competition pictures, and it is a parrot that has won. Taken on a remote island off New Zealand, the winning image is of the impressive and often comical Kakapo (even the name is amusing- though the Maori translates as Night Parrot). With only 124 of these birds left in the wild, it’s plight is worse than many of the species I’ve mentioned before. A large flightless, nocturnal bird, the Kakapo for many years had no natural predators until sailors arrived with rats and cats aboard their ships. These made a home for themselves on the islands, the Kakapo without means of escape from these faster predators soon entered their food chain.

The Islands where these birds have been released have been specifically chosen for the absence of any such predators, so for now their numbers are relatively stable.

Amazingly these birds can live anywhere up to 95 even 120 years so with careful conservation there may well be a chance that these magnificent birds will survive. Click here for the winning images, don’t think any of the birds I’ve photographed are rare enough to be entered though.


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