Pukeko

Maori Name: 
Pukeko
Scientific Name: 
Porphyrio porphyrio
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51 cm; Male 1050 g, Female 850 g. Deep blue with black head and upperparts. Undertail white, flirted with every step. Bill and shield scarlet; eye red; legs and feet orange-red. Sexes alike. Immature has much brown and buff in the plumage and on bill and legs. Voice a loud unmusical screech. Runs well and swims with tail held high. Clambers about and may perch in scrub and trees. When disturbed in the open, runs to cover or flies, legs dangling, for a short distance. Flies high at night, calling - a loud harsh screech. Habitat: Wetlands, estuaries, short damp pasture and parks. Often in extended family groups. Breeding: Aug-Mar.

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