More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Pukeko

Scientific name:

 Porphyrio melanotus

Maori Name:

 

 

 

Conservation status:

 Native. Not threatened

Mainland status:

 Widespread

Size:

 51cm, 1050g (males) 850g (females)

Lifespan:

 3-6 yrs.  Oldest recorded in NZ 9 years

Breeding:

 August - March

Diet:

 Invertebrates, vegetation, frogs, small birds and eggs

Pukeko in water trough - photographer: Peter CrawThe pukeko is deep blue with a black head and upperparts. The white undertail is flicked with every step.  The bill and shield are scarlet, the eye red and the legs and feet are orange – red. 

Breeding is mainly between August and March. Nests are built on a tussock or rush clump, with the grass or rushes being beaten down into a platform. Territories are often occupied by groups and two or more females may lay in the same nest. The incubation of 23 – 27 days is shared by all. Each female lays 4 – 6 buff eggs with brown blotches at the larger end. All birds, including non–breeding helpers ( offspring from previous broods) help feed and care for the chicks.


The call is a loud unmusical screech and also a subdued musical ‘tuk – tuk’. Pukeko mainly feed on swamp and pasture vegetation. Also insects, spiders, frogs, small birds and eggs. Shoots are held in the foot like a parrot and stripped or macerated by the powerful bill.

Learn more about pukeko at New Zealand Birds Online.

Pukeko - photography by Dr Kerry RodgersPukeko - photographer: Peter Craw












Photography by:  Peter Craw © (top and bottom right) and Dr Kerry Rodgers © (left)

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.