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Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species
Flightless Birds

How do kakapo attract mates?


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January 16, 2014 5:20AM

Male kakapo have a very unique way of attracting a mate. The kakapo is the only parrot which has an inflatable thoracic air sac, with which it can create a subsonic mating boom. This mating boom can be heard several kilometres away. Females are attracted by the call, but it does not end there. They are drawn to the male's exact location by a higher pitched "ching" call.

The kakapo is the only parrot to have a 'lek' mating system, in which males gather in groups to compete for female attention in their 'calling posts', which are specially dug-out bowls in the earth. Once the females arrive, attracted by the mating calls, they wander among the males engaging in their courtship displays, as if weighing the merits of the various males before deciding upon a suitable mate.