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Meet this season’s kākāpō chicks

What’s chubby and feathered but can’t fly? Nocturnal with booming calls and can live for almost a century? Green and fluffy with the cutest muppet faces but super rare, and you probably won’t ever see?

If you guessed the kākāpō, you are exactly right! I’m so proud! You guys have paid attention to all my years of yarning on about odd native New Zealand birds! Anyone? Anyone? *crickets* just my mom and me then!

Well, if the kākāpō perhaps wasn’t what immediately springs to mind AND/OR you have never heard of my favorite creature on earth, well, you’re in for a treat!

Get ready for a bombardment of adorable baby kākāpō photos and stories!

kakapo chicks

kakapo chicks

Kākāpō claim the somewhat unique title of being both one of the weirdest and rarest birds on the planet. Only found in New Zealand, kākāpō are nocturnal, flightless forest parrots who can live up to 100 years, and look kind of like an avocado and an owl had a baby.

There are only 211 total kākāpō alive today, thanks to the biggest breeding season on record this year, 2019 and the tireless hard work of the fantastic Kākāpō Recovery team. And guess who got to hang out with the new chicks?

In short, kākāpō are special. Really special, and they need our help. Read on, dear ones!

The Story of the Kākāpō

kakapo chicks
Hoki at her nest by Dr. Andrew Digby here

kakapo chicks

Before humans came to New Zealand (and ruined everything in terms of biodiversity – jokes, jokes, but not really), there were no native mammals on this tiny island nation in the South Pacific. No cats, nothing furry, no rats, nothing. Only two types of bats.

It was indeed a land of birds, all of whom evolved without any predators. The only thing that hunted them were other birds. Then humans came and brought with them all of the nasty mammals we hate here today, like possums, stoats (ferrets), cats, rats, etc. Around 50 species of birds went extinct after humans arrived here.

We’ve got some making up to do, am I right?

**Follow kākāpō scientist Dr. Andrew Digby on Twitter for the most up-to-date info around these marvelous birds

Our poor unique native birds had no defenses – it was a veritable slaughter.

Nowadays, more than 80% of New Zealand’s native birds are in serious trouble, many facing extinction. And it’s estimated that rats, possums, and stoats kill 25 million birds a year here in New Zealand. Let that sink in for a moment.

However, New Zealand is committed to restoring the ecosystems to how they once were, even launching an ambitious campaign Predator Free 2050 to remove pests from NZ.

The story of wildlife in New Zealand is a tragic one, but one also full of hope too. Let’s look at the kākāpō, a bird by all accounts should not have survived.

kakapo chicks

kakapo chicks

Once the third most common bird in New Zealand, the charming kākāpō didn’t stand a chance once mammals entered the scene. Flightless but well camouflaged, their primary defense mechanism was to freeze and avoid being seen. This worked well when eagles hunted them but didn’t stand up once mammals arrived and hunted by smell.

Another quirky fact about kākāpō is that they have a strong scent to them – super weird, right!

You often can get a whiff of them on the breeze before you see them (if you can see them at all), and the rangers who lovingly tend these parrots have described it to me as the smell of the inside of an old violin case. Musty, sweet and old, rather like these creatures.

Pungent, chubby birds who can’t fly and stand still when scared? Well, I do believe we call that easy prey. The kākāpō didn’t stand a chance.

kakapo chicks
Sinbad kākāpō

kakapo chicks

By the 1970’s century, kākāpō were thought to be extinct, before a handful of old males were living at the very top of some of the steepest mountains in Fiordland. A while later, another population was found living on Stewart Island, though feral cats were decimating them.

The kākāpō weren’t going to survive much longer, and from the ’70s to the mid-’90s, all of the birds were moved to predator-free islands. Then the Kākāpō Recovery Programme was established in 1995.

Now, kākāpō are lovingly tended by a dedicated team of rangers, scientists, vet, volunteers, and donors who are doing everything possible to try to bring back these incredible birds from the very brink of extinction. They’re funded in large part on donations and sponsorships from DOC and Meridian Energy.

Donate to Kākāpō Recovery. All donations make a difference

kakapo chicks

kakapo chicks

The majority of kākāpō these days live on a few predator-free islands, like Anchor Island and on Codfish Island / Whenua Hou, which I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago.

One reason that kākāpō have struggled to bounce back from the brink of extinction is that they only breed every two to four years when Rimu tree’s fruit grows abundantly – the period is known as a “mast year.” Because they are so inbred, genetic diversity is a big problem, and more than half of their eggs are infertile.

It’s an uphill battle.

kakapo chicks

kakapo chicks

But lucky for us, 2019 was shaping up to be a bumper breeding year for kākāpō with an overwhelming abundance of fruit.

Time for all hands on deck!

A great podcast by RNZ called the Kākāpō Files was released this year

kakapo chicks
Hoki on the nest looking like a proud mum, photo by Dr. Andrew Digby on Twitter
kakapo chicks
Rakiura-1-A-2019 in Rakiura’s nest, 3 days old by Dr. Andrew Digby on Twitter

2019 was a kākāpō breeding season full of highs and lows.

The somewhat quiet offshore islands where they call home quickly become extremely busy throughout the summer as teams of rangers, volunteers and scientists travel down to do everything they can to make it the most successful breeding season possible.

2019 biggest ever on record after a mast year leads to unprecedented amounts of rimu fruit, which is necessary for kākāpō to breed and hatch chicks successfully.

A record of 71 chicks survived through to juvenile age; the previous record was 32.

For many reasons, some chicks were taken off the islands to be hand-reread in special facilities on the mainland, which doesn’t impact them at all if they are raised together – and not alone like Sirocco was – the kākāpō who thinks he’s human.

Later the chicks are released into the wild, tagged with a transmitter.

I was lucky enough to visit some of this year’s chicks down in Invercargill as they were being raised, and it was a life-changing experience, as you might imagine. Making do with limited resources, people, and budget, it’s compelling to see what the kākāpō recovery team can manage.

kakapo chicks

kakapo chicks

Every time I visit them, I dream of the day I am a millionaire so I can adequately fund all of the conservation projects I care deeply about. Sigh. I know it’s a big dream, but one day guys!

In the meantime, if there are any millionaires out there with idly bank accounts looking to support birds, do get in touch.

kakapo chicks

kakapo chicks

The steps taken to look after the chicks are immense, and I can’t even begin to say thank you to the incredibly hard-working kākāpō team who run around like crazy for a year during a breeding season doing everything they can to ensure these birds survive.

It’s dedication and passion that inspires me to my core. These birds wouldn’t have a chance without them.

Suitably sterilized, zipped up, and croc-ed out, I was able to weave my way through the facility to meet this year’s kākāpō chicks.

kakapo chicks
by Dr. Andrew Digby on Twitter

kakapo chicks

Greeted by a gaggle of kākāpō in a pen, snorting and chortling their way around a makeshift indoor forest, I let out an audible sigh of deep contentment.

How amazing to see such rare creatures come back from the abyss?

And also, they are seriously so cute. How could you not love them? They literally make snorting noises like a little pig.

I spent hours observing the new chicks, watching them come out and learn how to climb on the branches, try and eat berries and get it all over their faces, and interact with each other. It was such an exceptional experience, and I felt so honored to be part of their story.

I left Invercargill the next day filled with hope and inspiration, but we all know that what goes up must come down, right?

kakapo chicks

kakapo chicks

It felt like almost as soon as I left, we were hit with the devastating news of a fungal outbreak that was killing kākāpō.

Aspergillosis is a fungal infection threatening kākāpō on Codfish Island / Whenua Hou and can be extremely deadly to birds. Luckily with swift action, many of the infected birds have been hospitalized and treated on the mainland and have survived, though a few have died as well.

Two more kākāpō chicks just died from aspergillosis, and the threat isn’t over yet, with two more chicks dying last month.

kakapo chicks

kakapo chicks

2019 has definitely been a year of ups and downs for kākāpō in New Zealand, and even after some hard times and trials, things are looking up as this year’s chicks make it through the first months of their long lives.

But now the question is, where are they going to live? We’re running out of space!

Ultimately the big goal is to get kākāpō back on mainland New Zealand. With so many more kākāpō, it means we’re running out of pest-free places where we can keep them safe.

What an exciting new problem to have!

Have you heard of the kākāpō? Are they your new favorite bird? Share!

Donate to Kākāpō Recovery. All donations make a difference

kakapo chicks

The post Meet this season’s kākāpō chicks appeared first on Young Adventuress.

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How to be an adventurous traveler when you’re not all that hardcore

The older I get, the more self-aware I become, and the more comfortable I get in my skin. About. Damn. Time.

And after a decade of world adventures, I’ve come to realize quite a few things about my style of travel in particular. While I love adventure and exploring and trying new things, I’m not all that hardcore. Not remotely.

Sure, go ahead and laugh. The original “Adventuress” isn’t that much of an adventurer in the literal sense anymore. You won’t find me taking skydiving lessons, skiing off cliffs, or biking around the world. That’s not my style, and it’s definitely not been since I hit my 30’s.

What no one tells you about adventure travel

world adventures

world adventures

While the extreme world adventures that you might imagine don’t appeal to me anymore, that doesn’t mean I don’t love adventure travel. My definition of experience has just changed quite a bit the more I grow up.

It’s funny, to my hardcore adventurous friends, I’m super vanilla, but to a lot of people, I seem extreme. It’s all about perception!

Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned over the years is that adventure travel doesn’t have to be hardcore – it could just mean trying something new and exciting.

world adventures

world adventures

To me, adventure travel is for everyone, and it’s all about how you define it.

For me, I find much more purpose these days in taking on a big challenge on my travels, to test myself and sense of adventure, and then revel in achieving it. I’m not one for any big adrenaline rushes anymore or looking for quick thrills.

Give me a good old hike or session in the snow and call me happy. My world adventures are not stopping any time soon.

Here are some of my best tips for adventure travel when you’re like me, and you’re not really all that hardcore – enjoy!

How to be an adventuress

world adventures

world adventures

Take the plunge

Scuba diving can be a fantastic excuse to visit some of the globe’s best most scenic destinations. Recreational diving is one of my favorite past times, and I’ve been diving around the world, from right here in New Zealand to Bali and the Maldives. 

But if diving’s not your thing, snorkeling is a great alternative, and often heaps cheaper.

There are loads of tropical spots that offer boat trips to reefs and islands where you can see spectacular fish and reefs – just for inspiration, check out the Phi Phi islands and Koh Tao in Thailand. There’s the Yasawa Islands in Fiji, so many places in the Seychelles, and Hawaii, and last but not least, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. 

world adventures

world adventures

Sign up for a safari

If you’re a fan of wildlife like me, there is nothing better than going on safari. 

Traveling to safari lodges in Africa tops the bucket list of many and with good reason – it’s pretty damn amazing. The ultimate “softcore” adventure, most safaris take you around in a 4WD vehicle for game viewings, not requiring any serious physical strengths.

Of course, there are self-drive, walking, boating, and riding safaris, too, but the traditional way is usually in an old tricked out Landrover.

Having just returned from a few days of safari in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, my mind has been blown away again.

world adventures

world adventures

Catch a wave

If you’ve never surfed and thought you couldn’t, why not give it a whirl with some surf lessons. It’s quite the workout but super fun. 

Don’t worry about feeling silly – you’re bound to be learning alongside other first-timers.

Or, if you’re committed, consider a women’s surf camp – a great bonding experience and a different way to see a country. Good options include Bali, Australia, Hawaii, Portugal, India, Nicaragua, and Morocco. Women’s surf camps and retreats are becoming increasingly popular. 

world adventures

world adventures

Sail into the sunset

The very friendly sport of sailing is open to all levels of ability and can be done in so many areas around the globe.

For instance, in Australia, there’s a tradition on Wednesday afternoons where many yacht clubs invite would-be sailors to join them for a sail and possibly a race, usually for free.

Or if you’ve dreamed of sailing around gorgeous coastlines and dropping anchor at deserted islands, there are plenty of sailing holidays where you can do as much or as little as you like – check out the Greek islands, Croatia, Australia’s Whitsundays, the Caribbean, and New Zealand. 

world adventures

world adventures

Guided adventure trips

It’s one thing to have an idea for an adventure, then go out and acquire all of the necessary skills to be able to do it safely. For me, I much prefer to go on guided adventures with an expert, someone who has certified guiding experience, which can both show me a fantastic time and keep me safe as.

From rafting the mighty Landsborough River here in New Zealand to guided via ferratas in the Dolomites in Italy, there’s always a guided adventure to be had!

world adventures

world adventures

Stand up paddle-boarding somewhere special

Stand-up paddling, or SUP as it’s known, is one of the fastest-growing watersports.

After some initial wobbles, most people find they can stand up and begin paddling on calm waters – surf may take a little extra mastery. It’s a great way to get fit and explore a landscape (coastal and rivers) on water.

Doing it in a group makes it friendly, too, and I’ve often joined in on guided SUP missions while traveling. Check out your options in Australia, the Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Slovenia.

Here in New Zealand, you’ll find me out on the lake and coast on my Moana inflatable SUP board, which I love to take out and about.

world adventures

world adventures

Take a hike

Walking holidays are graded for all levels of fitness. Above all, hiking is great for solo travelers as you can get to know people in a relaxed setting.

The possibilities are endless from short hikes just about anywhere to more extended expeditions such as the Camino Trail that passes through France, Spain, and Portugal.

In addition to other hotspots include hiking New Zealand, Peru, Japan, and Iceland.

Active Adventures runs guided hiking adventures around the most beautiful parts of New Zealand.

world adventures

world adventures

It’s snow time

Never tried skiing or snowboarding, never fear – that’s what ski school is for.

Prepare to have fun and a few tumbles, with days punctuated with hot chocolate and spectacular winter scenery. It’s always ski season somewhere in the world. The US, Canada, Japan, Europe are all exceptional during the northern hemisphere’s winter, while New Zealand is the place to go from June to September.

If skiing or snowboarding isn’t up your alley, consider cross-country skiing in Scandinavia or Austria.

world adventures

world adventures

Hop on your bike!

Not fit, but love to pedal? No worries. Cycling opens up the world adventures to all.

There are cycling trips for all levels, from touring vineyards in France to meandering through the rice paddies in Vietnam. From tackling hilly rides in Sri Lanka, cycling is a great way to see the country and boosts your fitness levels too.

Some cities are bike-friendly too. Check out bike hire or have an urban cycling adventure on one of the free bikes offered in places like Geneva and Zurich. You can also take part in bike-sharing schemes in Paris, London, Dublin, Melbourne, and Mexico City. 

Now with the popularity of e-bikes, cycling holidays have never been more accessible – phew!

world adventures

world adventures

Guided expedition trips

If you don’t want to stick to one kind of activity, there are adventure tours that combine it all. From trekking, kayaking, cycling, temples, and wildlife, even with accommodation ranging from camping to homestays to luxury lodges. 

One of my favorite guided expeditions was to ride horses in Mongolia, a trip that truly changed my life.

A week in Cuba could see you hiking to waterfalls, taking salsas lessons, and soaking up the atmosphere in Havana. Or, if exploring markets, beaches, and temples is your thing, Cambodia or Thailand could be the go. Intrepid Travel has some great options, including trips just for women. 

Join an expedition ship to Svalbard, the Antarctic, or even New Zealand’s subantarctic.

world adventures

world adventures

There are so many world adventures waiting for you out there. In fact, there is something for everyone and every budget. It all depends on you.

From easy hikes in your backyard to a holiday spent on the high seas, adventure travel is out there. Rewarding and life-changing, I can’t get enough of it, and I enjoy watching my travels evolve as I grow older.

For me, the only question is, what’s next?

How do you define adventure travel? Are you a fan of getting out and challenging yourself when on the road too? What are your favorite world adventures – spill!

world adventures

The post How to be an adventurous traveler when you’re not all that hardcore appeared first on Young Adventuress.

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Best Christmas Ever Bundle

Product Name: Best Christmas Ever Bundle

Click here to get Best Christmas Ever Bundle at discounted price while it’s still available…

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Best Christmas Ever Bundle is backed with a 60 Day No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee. If within the first 60 days of receipt you are not satisfied with Wake Up Lean™, you can request a refund by sending an email to the address given inside the product and we will immediately refund your entire purchase price, with no questions asked.

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CWS Happenings & Christmas Cards

Floral Maternity Dress

Hey there! It’s been a HOT sec since my last CWS Happenings post. I went to write one for last month but honestly, there wasn’t much to update you on or going on, so I decided to skip it. Today’s post is totally making up for it because it is JAM-PACKED with goodness! I can’t wait to share, so let’s dive in. 🙂

The past few months have been a whirlwind and now with the holiday season here, I feel as if I’m going non-stop over here. Don’t worry, I’m still making plenty of time for rest. I’ll be entering the 3rd trimester of pregnancy this coming Sunday (SO crazy to me), so rest is growing more and more important to me as the days go on.

Michael and I will be spending Thanksgiving in Rochester, NY with his side of the family. We’re both really looking forward to it! While we’re up there, I’ll be getting my hair refreshed (beyond needed, haha) and will hopefully pick up some items with my MIL for my baby shower in January. We’re hoping to finally start on baby girl’s nursery in a couple of weeks and I am so stoked about it! So, I’m constantly on the look-out for cute decor for her nursery space, as well.


  • Leopard Print Dress Outfit
  • 26 Week Pregnant Bumpdate
  • Gift Guide For Men Under $50
  • Gift Guide For Her Under $50
  • Gift Guide For Parents Or In-Laws Under $50

Christmas Cards from Minted 2019


I am absolutely swooning over our Christmas cards for this year! I got to team up with my friends at Minted once again and of course, they never disappoint. We went with a classy and simple design this year with some stunning foil-pressed detailing in silver. The foil-pressed character added in completes the card. I decided to go with a photo of us from my baby shower the other weekend. It’s so crazy to think that this is the last year it’ll just be Michael and me on our Christmas card… next year our sweet baby girl will be here in our arms! 🙂

I have used Minted for all of my card needs for 5 years now and I’m always impressed with the design choices and quality. These are the kinds of holiday cards that you hold onto forever – they make perfect keepsakes!

It’s not too late to order some Minted Holiday Cards for you and your family this year! Plus, they have some super neat picks for New Years Cards that you need to check out.

Christmas Cards from Minted 2019


I have already shared 3 awesome gift guides with you so far and I have a few more that’ll be rolling out over the next week. I made a quick and easy way for you to find ALL of my Holiday Gift Guides so that you can shop with ease. All you need to do is go up to the very top of my site and on the main menu, there’s a tab labeled “HOLIDAY”. Once you click this tab, it’ll take you to an entire page of all of the gift guides I have created for this year. 😉 I hope that it’ll come in handy for you!

Casual Maternity Outfit


Many of you have asked me to share some of my maternity clothing favorites along the way, so here some are. Truthfully, I’m still able to wear a lot of non-maternity pieces when it comes to tops, dresses, and even leggings! All you need to do is swipe through to shop. 🙂 

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Thanks for catching up with me today! How are you? Tell me what’s going on in your life. Are you excited for fall to arrive? Let’s chat!

Let’s connect! >> Facebook | Instagram Twitter Pinterest

The post CWS Happenings & Christmas Cards appeared first on Coffee With Summer.

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Electrolyte Powder

Product Name: Electrolyte Powder

Click here to get Electrolyte Powder at discounted price while it’s still available…

All orders are protected by SSL encryption – the highest industry standard for online security from trusted vendors.

Electrolyte Powder is backed with a 60 Day No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee. If within the first 60 days of receipt you are not satisfied with Wake Up Lean™, you can request a refund by sending an email to the address given inside the product and we will immediately refund your entire purchase price, with no questions asked.

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