This is the most hilarious Today I Discovered yet, I promise you.
This is the story of one particularly rare bird from New Zealand that just wanted to get frisky with human heads.
This is the story of Sirocco.
When Stephen Fry and zoologist Mark Carwardine went to the forests of New Zealand to track down the critically endangered Kakapo, the only flightless parrot in the world, I don’t think they bargained for this.
The balloon-shaped, yellow-green bird was the subject of their series Last Chance To See, which aimed to reveal a few of the planet’s most under threat animals.
But what happened when they met Sirocco, the Kakapo, is perhaps the best vision of a large bird and a human since the big black cockerel on the Today Show.
The parrot mounted Carwardine and started, with some intense bedroom eyes, uh, flapping about on his head. Stephen Fry, looking on, describes to Carwardine that he has indeed been ‘shagged by a rare parrot’.
You can see the display of affection here:
The behaviour is, obviously, a little unusual – especially for a bird that is critically endangered, with less than 200 members left in the wild. If it’s so willing to get its rocks off, why isn’t the population thriving?
Well, a few reasons. Sirocco’s head-banging is a result of his upbringing. When he was growing up, he was raised by humans because of respiratory issues. Thus, it wasn’t other Kakapo that Sirocco ended up falling in love with.
It was us. Humanity.
According to Smithsonian Mag, when Sirocco lived on Codfish Island, he was always ready to get rowdy with the humans that shared the space with him. When they’d head to the outhouse to relieve themselves, Sirocco would dash after them and try to climb up their legs, looking for head.
That’s a great story – I know – but what actually had me wheezing with laughter was the fact that, this behaviour was so well known and so common, that scientists actually fashioned a specific helmet that humans could wear…
…to collect Sirocco’s ejaculate.
[pauses to regain breath]
That’s right. We created a helmet because Sirocco, the Kakapo, would try to mate with our heads and we figured we could help save the species by doing so. Smithsonian Mag described it as a ‘hat of condoms’.
Again, all of this is 100 percent true.
The helmet was an abject failure. It didn’t work. Kakapos enjoy mating for an hour, as opposed to minutes like many other birds. There was no one that had the mental or physical stamina to let a bird mate with their brain-box for that long.
Sirocco had disappeared off the radar since his birthday last year, but a month ago, a team of scientists found him and fitted him with a new radar. He lives to mount another head.
Sirocco, may you live on forever.
I just spent 500 words writing about a bird that wanted to breed with a human head.
Enjoy your day.