New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1987) 10: 117- 128

The Foods, Foraging Behavior and Habitat Use of North Island Kokako in Puketi State Forest, Northland

Research Article
R. G. Powlesland  
  1. Science Directorate, Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 10-420, Wellington, New Zealand

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. Fruit consumption was high in summer, autumn and winter, and invertebrates were taken mainly in spring. Kokako ate leaves, including those of epiphytes, most often in winter and least often in summer. When epiphytes, lianes and invertebrates are included with their host trees, kokako obtained most food from shrub hardwoods (54%). Use of the other vegetation types for food WfiS as fopows: tree hardwoods (30%); podocarps (14%); ground-storey plants (1%); and tree ferns (1%). Kokako fed mainly between the crown foliage of canopy trees and 3 m from the ground, where shrub hardwoods and much of the foliage of tree hardwoods and epiphytes predominated.