Family New Zealand Wattlebirds (Callaeidae)

Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)

South Island Kokako (Callaeas cinereus)


French: Glaucope cendré German: Orangelappenvogel Spanish: Kokako de Isla Sur

Glaucopis cinerea

J. F. Gmelin

, 1788,

New Zealand = Queen Charlotte Sound, Marlborough


Often treated as conspecific with C. wilsoni (which see). Monotypic.


Historically#R, W coast of South I and Banks Peninsula, also Stewart I and offshore islets; single formally accepted recent record, from 2007, in upper Inangahua Valley (NW South I)#R#R; possibly extinct.

Descriptive notes

c. 37 cm. Medium-sized to large forest passerine with short, wide downcurved bill, unusually long sturdy legs, long broad tail with rounded tip and distinctive downward curve... read more


Song a loud 30-second series of slowly executed rich notes, given by both sexes, sometimes in duet... read more


Tall forests of podocarps mixed with tawa (Beilschmiedia tawa), southern beech (... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds mostly on leaves and fruits, less frequently eating flowers, buds and nectar, and occasionally invertebrates; changes from one... read more


Eggs found in Dec–Jan, with courtship from Oct, young mainly in Jan–Feb and most juveniles fully grown by May. Believed to be single-... read more


Presumably resident.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (POSSIBLY EXTINCT). Restricted-range species: now confined, if still survives, to South Island of New Zealand EBA. The last confirmed sightings of this... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). South Island Kokako (Callaeas cinereus). 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 25 January 2020).