Drunken Hoons

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Kaka Drunk on Eucalyptus Blossom – Kaka are a constant presence around our home, and provide us and our guests endless amusement.

They always seem to have time on their “wings” and appear to spend more time enjoying them selves rather than foraging as other species do.

Eucalyptus – there are many Eucalytus trees around the village, and at this time of year they are coming into blossom.

Kaka are pretty omniverous, taking fruit and insects as well as having a real liking for the cambium layer of Totara. But they are in fact specialist nectar

Feeding on flax blooms, Notice the pollen spraying around the beak

feeders, having a “feathered” tongue to better dip blossom. Eucalyptus nectar is a special treat, and they will gorge on it, The nectar ferments on them with quite predictable results. Brian Parkinsons book “The Travelling Naturalist” describes … “drunken Kaka carousing in the blue gums at Lonnikers”…… And the din needs to be heard to appreciated. Their drunken games extend to our garden and we’ll have them bouncing around on our roof, and the lawn. This evening I noticed this trio squabbling on our lawn. While it looks serious I actually think it’s more a case of just “hooning” as the claws and beak could do real damage. And after a while they actually seem to lose interest.

There is a rather coarse phrase in New Zealand…. someone is as p****d as a parrot…….. It must refer to the spring antics of our Kaka, who Iris & I refer to as a hoon of, rather than a flock of.

[flowplayer src=’http://sailsashore.co.nz/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/kaka.mp4′ width=640 height=480 splashend=show splash=’http://sailsashore.co.nz/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/IMG_4570.jpg’ autoplay=false]

(Music with thanks to Grieg)

The drunken activities do often appear to end in hangovers, as we will see birds that look distinctly “morning after”, and if we haven’t put out the morning sugar water they will scream at us, and beat the windows with wings and beak.


Peter Tait

Peter Tait

Peter Tait is a professional nature guide based at Stewart Island, New Zealand, and he works primarily on Ulva Island Open Sanctuary. Peter has been resident on the Island for over 40 years and was one time Forest Ranger in Charge of Stewart Island. Fishing followed forestry and was in turn followed by Talisker, a 17m charter yacht. He is qualified Skipper Deep Sea Fishing Vessel. In addition to guiding Peter and his wife Iris are hosts at Sails Ashore Lodge.

Peter Tait

Peter Tait

Peter Tait is a professional nature guide based at Stewart Island, New Zealand, and he works primarily on Ulva Island Open Sanctuary. Peter has been resident on the Island for over 40 years and was one time Forest Ranger in Charge of Stewart Island. Fishing followed forestry and was in turn followed by Talisker, a 17m charter yacht. He is qualified Skipper Deep Sea Fishing Vessel. In addition to guiding Peter and his wife Iris are hosts at Sails Ashore Lodge.

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