Kokako News

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 10th, 2008


It is always good to update a year old story. The Kokako ~ the New Zealand version of the ivory-billed woodpecker intrigue ~ is back in the news.

The Kokako has recently been in the newspapers again, with a new sighting of this contemporary cryptid.

Alec Milne, an amateur ornithologist from Golden Bay, in the Nelson region at the top of the South Island, has reported to the New Zealand Department of Conservation that he has recently heard what he believes was the call of the South Island kokako at the head of the Cobb Valley in Kahurangi National Park, near Nelson. In 2005 Mr Milne saw a bird fitting the description of the South Island kokako in the same area.

The South Island kokako is assumed to be extinct though there have been a number of unverified reports of sightings or hearing South Island kokako over the years.

Distinct Calls

Mr Milne states that on 8 March he was with two other men in the area of the head of the Cobb Valley and heard unusual calls from a patch of beech forest. Scanning the forest with binoculars he saw a light-coloured bird drop down from the canopy. He was too far away to get a proper description. When Mr Milne was about 80 metres from the forest he heard a series of 3 distinct single notes. Over the next half hour, sitting about 50m from the forest, he and his companions twice more heard a series of 2 or 3 single or double notes.

Possible Sighting

Mr Milne briefly saw what he believes was a South Island kokako in November 2005 in the same area. He saw the bird from 20m away. He said it was uniformly slate grey with a body size slightly larger than a Californian quail and some bright orange colouring at the base of its bill.

Department of Conservation Rangers to Search

Two Department of Conservation Golden Bay rangers are going into the area this week with Alec Milne to look for any sign of South Island kokako. They are taking cameras and tape recording equipment with them.


Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

3 Responses to “Kokako News”

  1. shumway10973 responds:

    Okay, cool! hey, when were they suppose to have gone extinct? Those are some nice pictures for more than 20 years ago. They are rather pretty in a dark sort-a way (my new wife and I have a T-shirt that says “I am only wearing black until they come up with something darker” I like black). I would love to hear a sound byte of what their call is suppose to be.

  2. Valen responds:

    I was wondering the same thing, and what led to their alledged extinction. I’ll have to do some research on this. I also wonder if the birding community is as divided over this as they are the IBWO?

  3. cryptidsrus responds:

    VERY cool…

    Would love to hear the call also…

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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