The kakarikis name literally means small parrot and comes from Maori language: kaka (meaning parrot) and riki (meaning small). The popular parrot has two color variations with their own scientific names; cyanoramphus novaezelandiae (red-fronted bird) and cyanoramphus auriceps (yellow-fronted bird).
The red-fronted kakariki has an entirely red crown whereas the yellow-fronted kakariki has a mix of yellow and red. There are also hybrids which are a mixture of the two-colour patterns so your kakariki’s colourings can be unique and make the bird easy to recognise amongst other kakariki birds.
The two variations are also native to different parts of New Zealand. The red-fronted kakariki used to be indigenous to the mainland but is now almost extinct there and more likely to be found on surrounding islands like Stewart Island. The yellow-fronted kakariki on the other hand can be found more readily on the mainland.
Both variations are currently vulnerable in the wild due to loss of habitat, especially the red-fronted kakariki. But they are now protected and numbers are slowly increasing. Similar breeds include the black headed caique and the jenday conure.