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NZ Pukeko

NZ Pukeko
Photo Information
Copyright: Helen Williams (hells1) (6)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2018-01-26
Categories: Birds
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/80 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2018-02-19 17:27
Viewed: 1072
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Pūkeko is the New Zealand name for the purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio). There are many subspecies of purple swamphen.

The subspecies found in New Zealand (Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus) is thought to have landed here around a thousand years ago from Australia.

Where to find them
Pūkeko are commonly seen along marshy roadsides and low-lying open country, the bird's range has increased with agricultural development.

Unlike many other native birds, the pūkeko has adapted well to new habitats, such as grassed paddocks, croplands and even city parks, a necessity brought about by disappearing wetlands.

However, the pūkeko is essentially a bird of swampy ground, lagoons, reeds, rushes and swamps.

Quick facts
Pūkeko are a member of the rail family of birds, which also includes the takahe
Pūkeko look very similar to takahe, although takahe are much heavier
They are around 51 centimetres long
They have distinctive colourings; a deep blue colour, with a black head and upperparts, white feathers under their tail, and a red bill and legs
Although they're laboured and reluctant flyers, they are good waders, swimmers and runners
Pūkeko can be aggressive and territorial
They're mostly vegetarian, but also eat invertebrates, eggs, frogs, small fish, chicks and mammals, especially in breeding season where chicks are fed protein-rich animals
They are widespread and have adapted well to urbanisation - they are as at home in pasture and farmland as they are in wetlands
Pūkeko are cooperative breeders, with multiple male and female birds often sharing a nest and responsibility for incubation of eggs and the guarding and feeding of chicks
They are protected but can be shot for sport during the shooting season.
The pūkeko is well loved by many New Zealanders, winning Forest & Bird's Bird of the Year competition in 2011.

This photo was taken at Western Springs Park in Auckland.

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • mamcg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 333 W: 13 N: 91] (9843)
  • [2018-02-19 17:55]

Well come hope you will explore the NZ wild life and we enjoy. Nice catch beautiful colours.
Best regards.

Hi Helen,

welcome to this TN site, Helen, to tell us about New Zealand nature! Please be aware, that a contributor like me lives far away from you (Switzerland) and needs information about the pictures presented. I found already out that a Pukeko is Porphyrio melanotus (Temminck), but where exactly did you take the shot?

It is only for this reason that I don't want to rate your picture.
Best regards, Dietrich

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2018-02-21 2:15]

Hi Helen,good capture of this strange bird but that seems common in NZ,difficult light but still a sharp and bright shot. Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

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