Little is known about how diurnal raptors, as apex predators, select their prey. It has been hypothesised that they are opportunistic, taking prey according to availability, and that they select prey based on prey size. The threatened New Zealand falcon or kārearea (Falco novaeseelandiae) is New Zealand’s only remaining endemic bird of prey. A previous study on prey caught by kārearea during the breeding season suggested that introduced avian prey were taken more often than expected, and endemic avian prey taken less often than expected, based on their abundance.
Sympatric orange-fronted (Cyanoramphus malherbi) and yellow-crowned parakeets (C. auriceps) were surveyed in a South Island beech (Nothofagusspp.) forest during the spring and summer of 1998/99. Habitat use, behaviour and diet were recorded for each parakeet identified. A single observer did all recording. Both species were seen most frequently in the upper-most 20% of the forest stratum. Orange-fronted parakeets were seen more frequently than yellow-crowned parakeets in the lowest 20% of the forest stratum.
Food of the North Island kaka (Nestor meridionalis septentrionalis) on Kapiti Island was identified while quantifying the foraging activity of nine radio-tagged birds from March 1991 to January 1992. Additional food types were identified by opportunistic observation of feeding birds and qualitative examination of nestling faeces. A diverse range of food was taken, including wood-boring invertebrates, scale insects, seeds, nectar or pollen, fruits, and sap.
The foraging behaviour, diet and habitat use of North Island kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni) were studied in Puketi State Forest from October 1981 to August 1982. Kokako fed mainly from branches and twigs of canopy and upper-understorey plants. Although 68 different foods were eaten, only eight contributed more than 5% to the observed diet in any season. The diet consisted of fruit (44%), unknown foods (18%), leaves (15%), epiphytes (11%), invertebrates (8%), buds (2%), flowers (l%) and nectar (1%). The use of these food- types varied seasonally.