The animal on the cover of HTML5 Canvas, Second Edition is the New Zealand kaka (Nestor meridionalis), a parrot endemic to that country. The kaka’s name comes from the Maori word for parrot (a duplication of the word , Maori for “to screech”). It is part of the Strigopidae family, which diverged from other parrots 80−100 million years ago when the landmass that is now New Zealand broke apart from the supercontinent Gondwana. A defining characteristic of this family of parrots is the bristles on their tongues, which are used to collect nectar.

A medium-sized parrot about 18 inches in length, the kaka is stocky and has a short, square tail. Its feathers are primarily olive-brown, with brighter splashes of crimson on the underwings and rump. It also has yellow-brown spots on its cheeks and a gray crown. It possesses the sharp curved beak common to many parrot species, which it uses to pry seeds loose from cones and dig up insects. The kaka also eats fruit, berries, nectar, and flowers.

These birds are primarily arboreal, living in the canopies of New Zealand forests. Very social creatures, kakas live in large flocks that sometimes include other local parrot species as well. In winter, breeding pairs build nests in hollow trees, and lay a clutch of two to four eggs. Both parents help feed their young.

The kaka is currently endangered due to deforestation, predators, and competition for food with non-native species. The closely related kea and kakapo parrots are facing similar challenges—and in fact, two species within the Nestor genus have already gone extinct (most recently in 1851).

The cover image is from Cassell’s Natural History. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Adobe Minion Pro; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is Dalton Maag's Ubuntu Mono.