Weka

Maori Name: 
Weka
Scientific Name: 
Gallirallus australis
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53 cm; Male 1000 g, Female 700 g. Flightess. Brown, streaked black. Sturdy short bill and legs. The4 subspecies are separated by plumage colour. RareNorth I Weka is greyer below and has brown legs; Buff Weka, introduced to Chatham Is, is the palest; Western Weka (Nelson to Fiordland) is noticeably chestnut, except in Fiordland, where a dark form is common; Stewart I Weka is the smallest and also has a dark form, but paler than Western Weka. Sometimes very inquisitive. Walks quietly, flicking leaves aside with bill in search of food. Runs fast, neck outstretched. Territorial call a loud repeated ''coo-eet'', rising in pitch. Habitat: Forests, scrub and open country with good cover. Breeding: Aug-Feb.

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