41 / Pūkeko

Porphyrio porphyrio

The pūkeko, or New Zealand swamp hen, is a handsome bird, with its purple-blue and black body, white tail plumage and red beak and legs. It is common in swamps throughout the country, but with agricultural development it has increased its range and adapted to new habitats. It is now often seen in urban areas and parks, and coastal land beside motorways. This tail-flicking rail has a distinctive way of walking, or strutting. It can run rapidly but flies only short distances. It closely resembles, and is related to, the much larger takahē, which was long believed extinct but was rediscovered in Fiordland in 1948.

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