Ōtanewainuku Forest birds include North Island brown kiwi, robins, tomtits, and native long-tail bats. Numbers of kiwi are boosted by translocation and kōkako have been reintroduced to the Forest.
The kōkako belongs to the endemic New Zealand wattlebirds (Callaeidae), an ancient family of birds which includes the saddleback and the extinct huia. The kōkako is the only member of its family still surviving on the mainland. It has a pair of brightly coloured, fleshy "wattles" extending from either side of its gape to meet below the neck.
The North Island kōkako has blue wattles. The bird is not particularly good at flying and prefers to use its powerful legs to leap and run through the forest. Learn more on the DOC website.