This documentary tells the tenuous survivor story of the kākāpō: the nocturnal flightless green parrot with "big sideburns and Victorian gentlemen's face" (as comedian Stephen Fry put it). A sole breeding population for the evolutionary oddity (the world's largest parrot; it can live up to 120 years) is marooned on remote Codfish Island. The award-winning film had rare access to the recovery programme and its dramatic challenges. This excerpt sees a rugged journey to the island to search for a kākāpō named 'Bill', and witnesses the "bizarre ballad" of its mating boom.
If naturalists go to heaven (about which there is considerable ecclesiastical doubt) I hope that I will be furnished with a troop of kākāpō to amuse me instead of television.– Naturalist Gerald Durrell, 1989
Music by Leyton Langeveld, featuring Ariana Tikao
'Te Heke' sung by Ariana Tikao