My kids both loved the book Deadly Feathers by Des Hunt, I actually really enjoyed it too, made me want to go to Stewart Island. We loved reading about the kākāpō and Sirocco the Rock Star Kākāpō.
The other thing we all love is a nature programme so I thought I would check out New Zealand Geographic TV. There is a huge selection from old classics like the Wild South series in the 80s to international series like Living World. I found a programme called To Save the Kākāpō that was filmed in 1997 when there were only about 50 kākāpō left and follows the very rare breeding season of the kākāpō. To Save the Kākāpō is filmed the year Sirocco hatched so is actually quite fascinating the lengths the volunteers went to help the kākāpō chicks.
The kākāpō only breeds when the rimu trees fruit, which is once every 2 to 4 years. This summer is expected to be another breeding season, even a bumper one, so hopefully they can increase the population from the current 154.
Not the real McCoy, you understand, but a beautifully sewn replica – one of several kākāpō that have been hidden around Christchurch as part of Sayraphim Lothian’s Guerrilla Kindness for Christchurch project.
Described as “a Persian cat with feathers“, the kākāpō is one of the world’s most endangered birds. There are only 124 birds left in the wild and now there are 124 of Sayraphim’s little creations dotted around Christchurch for us to find. Sayraphim says she is: “utilising the Kakapo’s journey to recovery as a metaphor for Christchurch’s journey to rebuild“.
I don’t know about you, but I am just blown away by this. By the creativity, the heart, the conscience, the vision.
Our Manchester Library kākāpō goes by the name of Little ToiTiIti. If you spot him in the library, just remember: even though he is the largest parrot in the world, he is very shy, very solitary, actually quite smelly and may make a loud shaaaaarking noise and flap his wings if you approach.
Love this project – Go Guerrilla Kindness!
P.S. Check out photos of some of Sayraphim’s kākāpō being made at Central Library Peterborough.