The Kakapo's Lament

The Kakapo is a chicken-sized, flightless parrot, native to New Zealand. These days only a handful of these extremely vulnerable birds survive on a couple of offshore islands, cared for by an army of dedicated volunteers. In the 1970's it was thought that after centuries of predation by humans and their introduced animals, no Kakapo existed on the New Zealand mainland... until the lone booming call of the last mainland Kakapo was heard echoing in an inaccessible valley on the South Island. His call went unanswered for several years before it was captured and transported to one of the offshore islands where its call was finally answered by one of the other remaining Kakapo. The name of that last mainland Kakapo is Richard Henry. He was well over 90 years of age when he died last year, leaving several offspring.

This song was written to lament that period when Richard Henry was so alone, but also to celebrate the precarious survival of his species.