Zealandia’s eye-in-the-sky Alfie Kākā catches up with cousin Sirocco Kākāpō
Alfie: Hey Cuz! Awesome to have you back “couch-surfing” at Zealandia again. I always have room for my favourite relatives.
Sirocco: Skraaarrk! It’s great to be back Alf. Despite my busy schedule of climbing trees and international superstardom I love coming back to see my mates here at Zealandia and meeting all my fans. There’s been so much happening here in the capital while I’ve been here—Welly on a Plate, film festivals and 150th birthday parties—so I’ve been mixing business with pleasure of course! It’s all happening in Wellywood—any recommendations for things to do/see to while I’m here?
Alfie: You mention Welly on a Plate, so you might be interested in an extra special event “Kākāpō and Kai”. No don’t panic – kākāpō is not on the menu. Instead guests get treated to a fabulous meal at Zealandia’s Rata Cafe featuring native ingredients (including some of your favourites!) and then come and visit you. The perfect night out in Wellington! There are just a couple of extra spots added in the last few days, so check it out if you get the chance.
Sirocco: Boom! I do love my kai! Rata sounds like the place to be then—and here is a fun fact – rātā nectar is one of my favourite summer treats!
Alfie: Oooh yum! Sounds delish! So, Sirocco, I’m a bit hazy on the family tree. I know you’re my cousin, but how many generations do we go back?
Sirocco: Boom! Wow, that’s a tough one Alf. I know we’re both part of the New Zealand parrot ‘superfamily’, along with those cheeky kea, and we’re definitely all SUPER parrots! I’m pretty sure it goes back quite a long way but sadly we kākāpō lost a lot of our whakapapa and knowledge when we got down to a low of ONLY 51 kākāpō in 1995— at that point it was all about survival. But you’ll always be my ‘best-ie from another nest-y’ Alf!
It seems like I have some new kākā cousins flying around the place Alfie—are any of them thanks to you?
Alfie: Oh yes – I’m father, grandfather, and uncle many times over now. As a founder bird here at Zealandia, I’ve had ample opportunity to follow my instincts. I haven’t been a father for a couple of seasons though. Despite what the field guides say about kākā and monogamy, I can assure you it’s not at all the case! Sadly my best girl is now someone else’s best girl :<… But not to cry, a new season is upon us, and who knows who might come hopping my way.
Sirocco: Skraaarrk! Personally I love the bachelor life Alfie, but good luck finding a new best girl! I’ve been trying Tinder at the moment—but I think I’m the only parrot on it :<>
Alfie: Gosh you certainly are living the playboy lifestyle aren’t you!
Last time you were here we started planning world domination for all parrots, one macadamia nut at a time… but since then I hear you started dabbling with pumpkin seeds only to then turn to walnuts. Does this fickleness indicate a change in your political views?
Sirocco: Boom! You’ve got to be in good shape to take over the world, so I’ve decided to cut down on the macadamias and swapped them out for walnuts—it’s always good to ‘treat yo self’ every now and again though.
Also I visited Parliament last year and the one political lesson I learnt is that you always need to make sure you’ve got the numbers—a few more kākāpō and kākā on our side and we’ll be an unstoppable force! :<>
Alfie: You’re so right Sirocco! Well I’ll do my best to make sure this breeding season is the best ever – I’m sure your whānau will do the same!
Sirocco: Yes – the word from Kākāpō Recovery is that it will be a fantastic season for baby kākāpō too! Wings crossed! :<>
Alfie: Back to your appearances here at Zealandia, I’ve been told that you’re not here to entertain your visitors, but that the visitors come to entertain you? Is there any truth in that, and how can visitors get the best out of their kākāpō experience?
Sirocco: Boom! For sure, just between you and me the whole ‘parrot on tour’ gig is all for my enjoyment! I’m a rockstar kākāpō so if you are coming to visit I expect to be entertained with your best moves—think of it as your very own X-Factor audition. Sing, wave, whistle and dance your heart out—don’t be shy. The more creative you are the more likely I will be to give you a happy skraaarrk.
Alfie: :<> it’s the best show in town!
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