Primary School Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

Dylan Lewis Y7 from Mahurangi College, Warkworth, being presented with the ..

Supporters of Tiritiri Inc and Fullers 360 Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

The NIWA Auckland City Science and Technology Fair winner of the Supporters of Tiritiri ..

2020 Conservation Week

Date posted: 12-Aug-2020

Meet the Takahē on Tiritiri Matangi Island When: 1:30 pm, ..

AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO WEDNESDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2020 due to Covid restrictions at t..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s TakahÄ“ Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

2019 Winner Y8-Y13 NIWA Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Abby Haezelwood

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihoro Nuk..


Scientific name:

 Porphyrio melanotus

Maori Name:




Conservation status:

 Native. Not threatened

Mainland status:



 51cm, 1050g (males) 850g (females)


 3-6 yrs.  Oldest recorded in NZ 9 years


 August - March


 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.