Monday, April 13, 2020

K is for the Kakapo (Folktales of Endangered Species)

Welcome to the 2020 A to Z blogging challenge! This year my theme is Folktales of Endangered Species. I am researching cool traditional stories about rare, fascinating animals - to raise awareness of what we might lose if we don't get our collective shit together. Enjoy!

Species: Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus)

Status: Critically endangered

Kakapo and Albatross play hide-and-seek
Maori folktale

Kakapo and Toroa (albatross)* had an argument over which one of them should rule the land, and they decided to put their abilities to the test. They agreed to take turns trying to hide from each other, and the one who could blend in best would win. Toroa tried to hide first in open land, but his bright white feathers gave him away. He tried a second time, but kakapo had an easy time spotting him again.
Now it was kakapo's turn. He lay down under some ferns, and blended in so well he became invisible. Toroa searched and searched but couldn't find him until kakapo began to laugh. They agreed on a second try and kakapo hid again - so perfectly that toroa lost the game.
Ever since then, the albatross has been living out at the wide ocean, flying over water, while kakapo lives on land, blending in with the colors of the forest.

*Many albatross species are also critically endangered or endangered.

Sources: You can find the story here and here, or read it online here or here.

How can I help?
Read about conservation efforts here, or here.

What bird would you most like to play hide-and-seek with? Do you think you could win?

Picture from here


  1. Sweet tale! And so true ;) Love this little parrot!

  2. I had to google Kakapo as this is the first time I've seen this word. An owl parrot--it says.
    Such a cute story of a cute looking kakpo.

  3. The Kiwi is another critically endangered species of flightless birds native to NZ. When I visited there 9 years ago, I did get a glimpse of these birds. They were kept in complete darkness (simulating the nocturnal conditions) and we were asked to be very silent.

  4. Beautiful bird- I am enjoying learning something new every day from your blog! Thanks! See you tomorrow!

  5. Poor Albatross. An Albatross reminds me of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the poor albatross in that poem.

    I would play hide and seek with a cardinal and I don't think I could hide.

    Finding Eliza

  6. I've seen a documentary on the flightless parrots. It's amazing they've managed to survive. The picture of that beautiful little critter hiding breaks my heart. I didn't realize albatross were endangered as well. Why humans callously destroy will remain a mystery to me.

  7. Don't we already play hide and seek with the birds in our garden? We hear them, and try to find them to take their photos. We know they are there, but we just can't find them! Woodpeckers would be good to play with. Even with their knocking on the trees I still have a hard time locating them.

  8. Looks a bit like a parakeet.

    Fleetwood Mac did a song called "Albatross" way back in the late '60's-early '70's, when Peter Green was still with them. Beautiful instrumental tune...

  9. What a charming introduction to Kalapo, and another heartbreaker to know they are endangered, along with Albatross. I'm really grateful that you're doing this series.

  10. Ah, that kakapo is quite clever! ;-)

    The Old Shelter - Living the Twenties

  11. Such a cute bird and story :-)

    An A-Z of Faerie: Kelpie

  12. I think the bird would win at hide and seek every time, although, when I was small I used to be quite good at it. These days, not so much ;)
    Tasha 💖
    Virginia's Parlour - The Manor (Adult concepts - nothing explicit in posts)
    Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles