The Crushed Kakapo Egg

Kakapo Bird


The Kakapo bird is a flightless, nocturnal, ground-dwelling parrot that evolved in New Zealand, where there were no ground-based predators. Its most dangerous adversary was the eagle, which usually spots its prey by movement. The Kakapo has evolved to freeze completely when startled to avoid being eaten. Over the eons it has given up flight in favor of weight, and the birds now weigh up to 8 or 9 pounds.

Here is a picture for scale:

[picture credit: Loren Coleman]

Things went well for the Kakapo in the New Zealand islands for eons.

Then white settlers came a couple of hundred years ago and brought cats and other ground-based predators. Now there are 125 Kakapo birds left.


Conservationists in New Zealand decided they are worth saving. When an extremely rare Kakapo egg was accidentally crushed, presumably by the mother, they stepped in and saved it with tape and glue.


Here is the picture story of the survival of the cracked egg chick.


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