Family New Zealand Wattlebirds (Callaeidae)

Near Threatened

North Island Kokako (Callaeas wilsoni)


French: Glaucope de Wilson German: Graulappenvogel Spanish: Kokako de Isla Norte

Glaucopis wilsoni


, 1850,

North Island, New Zealand


Often treated as conspecific with C. cinereus, but differs in its dull blue vs mainly orange cheek wattle (3); slightly more extensive black mask (1); pale fringing to rear edge of mask (2); slightly paler body plumage (ns[1]); olive-brown edges and tips of rectrices (ns[1]); and slightly shorter tail in male, based on published data#R (allow 1); split supported by DNA findings#R. Possible differences in behaviour and voice have also been reported#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

North I (including translocations to Little Barrier I, Tiritiri Matangi I and Kapiti I), in New Zealand.

Descriptive notes

38 cm; 200–250 g, male average 233 g, female average 218 g. Medium-sized to large forest passerine with short, wide downcurved bill, unusually long sturdy legs, long... read more


Song, throughout year but mainly in late spring and summer, one of the most haunting and beautiful... read more


Lowland podocarp-tawa hardwood forest with diverse understorey; from sea-level up to at least 900 m... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly leaves and fruit, with flowers, buds, nectar and invertebrates taken less frequently; has been suggested that nestling diet may... read more


Breeds generally in austral spring and summer, also in early autumn but only when food abundant, with laying Oct–Mar and latest... read more


Primarily sedentary. Juvenile dispersal generally only 1·2–2·1 km, but one... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: confined to the North Island of New Zealand EBA. Global population in 1999 had fallen to just 330 or so... read more

Recommended citation

Scofield, P., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). North Island Kokako (Callaeas wilsoni). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 30 March 2020).