Weka (Gallirallus australis)

Last Modified: 30-10-2020 16:20

Weka at Cullen Point
Weka at Cullen Point
© Christopher Cookson  License this image

Weka (Gallirallus australis) are a flightless rail endemic to New Zealand, found on all main islands. As weka are active during the day, relatively common, and exhibit a great deal of curiousity, although they lack the iconic status of the kiwi as a national symbol, they are probably the flightless bird people are most likely to have spontaneous encounters with in the wild.

About the size of a medium sized hen, weka are ominivorous and will both scavenge and hunt prey. They show relatively little fear of humans, and will scavenge around camp sites for food; they have even been known to attempt to enter open vehicles in their quest for food. The scavenging instincts of weka can be annoying to gardeners, however they are fully protected on mainland New Zealand.

In Marlborough, weka are common throughout the Marlborough Sounds and Mount Richmond Forest Park.

The example illustrated was observed at Cullen Point in Pelorus Sound.

Image Date: 22/10/2012

Photographer: Christopher Cookson

Location: Latitude: -41.268692 Longitude: 173.785034

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