NZ native bird Kakariki population flies to new heights…

Zealandia's 500th banded kakariki chick (Richard Gray/ Zealandia)

Zealandia’s 500th banded kakariki chick.

Ecosanctuary Zealandia in Wellington has a new feather in its cap after celebrating the landmark banding of its 500th kakariki.

The birds, characterised by their bright green plumage and a red head have reached the milestone much quicker than their cousins, the kaka.

The first release of a founding population of the birds from Kapiti Island took place in 2010.

Birds are given colourful bands to help identify them in the wild for research and monitoring.

A Zealandia spokesperson said kakariki occasionally fly into Wellington from nearby Matiu/Somes Island, but most seen in the city would have come from the sanctuary.

This season’s chicks, of which there have been more than 170 so far, have one large bright orange band on one leg and two smaller ones on the other.

Last year there were 153 birds hatched.

Acknowledgements:   3 News

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