The dinosaurs may be gone, but conservationists believe an extinct species unique to New Zealand is trying to make a comeback.
The South Island kokako was officially declared extinct last year after 40 years without a confirmed sighting.
But persistent rumours of the native bird - which is distinct from the North Island kokako because of its red facial wattles - have led a team of conservationists deep into the bush to see if the kokako is back from the dead.
Hawkes Bay forest manager Pete Shaw, Tasti Products chairman and conservationist Simon Hall, kokako expert Grant Jones, and geologist Dr Ian Turnbull hope
the exercise will raise the profile of the endangered North Island kokako, which is recovering after being driven almost to extinction by rats and other predators.
Te Ara Encyclopaedia of New Zealand says the kokako's haunting, evocative call is unlike any other bird's.
Maori legend has it that the kokako's long, lean legs were a gift from Maui after the bird filled its wattles with water to quench Maui's thirst as he fought the sun.
Over the past decade, several people have reported hearing the kokako's call in the South Island.
There have also been occasional unconfirmed sightings.
But the Department of Conservation not been able to find evidence the birds are still living.
Kokako are members of the ancient New Zealand wattle bird (Callaeidae) family, which also includes the Saddleback and the extinct Huia.
The last confirmed record of South Island kokako in Fiordland was a few feathers in the Borland Saddle area in 1967.