When zoologist Mark Carwardine headed into the dense jungle landscape of New Zealand in search of one of the last remaining wild kakapos — pudgy, nocturnal parrots that can’t fly — little did he know he was entering a meat-market singles scene.
Male kakapos are polyamorous birds known for sexual freedom and inquisitiveness, which extends, it seems, even to British zoologists. At Carwardine’s meeting, the kakapo leapt onto his neck and engaged in a carnal, wing-flapping gyration of ecstasy. Unfortunately for the lovestruck bird, his tryst with Carwardine may prove a sterile venture.
Kakapos are the only species of flightless parrot in the world, and use a rare tactic of “freezing” when threatened — and they’re critically endangered. These birds’ niche adaptations worked well for the species for thousands of years, but European introduction of nonnative weasels, ferrets and stoats has taken its toll on their success.
See the video “Shagged by Rare Parrot” (complete with impromptu commentary by Stephen Fry). We promise it’s worth your while.