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Weka

Gallirallus australis

Description:

The weka (also known as Maori hen or woodhen) (Gallirallus australis) is a flightless bird species of the rail family. It is endemic to New Zealand, where four subspecies are recognized. Weka are sturdy brown birds, about the size of a chicken. As omnivores, they feed mainly on invertebrates and fruit. Weka usually lay eggs between August and January; both sexes help to incubate. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weka)

Habitat:

Weka occupy areas such as forests, sub-alpine grassland, sand dunes, rocky shores and modified semi-urban environments. They are omnivorous, with a diet comprising 30% animal foods and 70% plant foods. Animal foods include earthworms, larvae, beetles, weta, ants, grass grubs, slugs, snails, insect eggs, slaters, frogs, spiders, rats, mice, and small birds. Plant foods include leaves, grass, berries and seeds. Weka are important in the bush as seed dispersers, distributing seeds too large for smaller berry-eating birds. Where the weka is relatively common, their furtive curiosity leads them to search around houses and camps for food scraps, or anything unfamiliar and transportable. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weka)

Notes:

Spotted in New Zealand.

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New Zealand

Spotted on Mar 22, 2006
Submitted on Nov 24, 2014

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Reference

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