Yellow-Crowned Parakeet

Kākāriki / Cyanoramphus auriceps

Kākāriki are common on some predator-free islands and some valleys in east Fiordland and West Otago.

Yellow-crowned parakeets are listed as not threatened under the New Zealand Threat Classification System. Their common name is given to them for the flush of bright yellow on their crown which blooms up past their eyes; they are the smallest of the kākāriki species.

Kākāriki are usually solitary or found in pairs, although in autumn and winter they form small flocks. They feed on berries, seeds, fruit and insects and may be seen foraging on the ground.

During the 1800s, kākāriki were common and at times flocks would emerge from forests to feed on grain and fruit crops. Farmers and orchardists considered them pests and shot thousands of the birds in an attempt to protect their harvests. Culling and destruction of their old-growth forest habitat were primary reasons for their near demise.

Today introduced predators (stoats and rats) are their main threats. Like other hole-nesters females and chicks are vulnerable when in the nest.

They are found locally in the Routeburn and the Dart Valleys.