Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 237 - Weka

The Weka (Gallirallus australis) is an endemic, flightless rail from New Zealand (and only New Zealand!).  The bird is about 50cm long and weighs in between 700 and 1000g - in other words it's about the same size as a small chicken.

Those of you with good memories may recall that I posted some images of Woodhen from Lord Howe Island about a year ago. Woodhen and Weka are in the same genus and have both become flightless.  I say 'become' because both species of birds are found on remote (ish) island and it's sure that the ancestors of these birds did not swim to these islands!

These pictures are of two different birds and I suspect that they are examples of two of the four 'types' found in NZ.  The first first bird seems to be one of the 'buff' forms - its does seem rather more 'ginger' than the darker bird, which may be the 'western' form.

In any case the first bird was very inquisitive and walked up to and past us without much bother.  I would have liked to get a bit lower for some of the shots of that bird, but we were half way though a walk and things were a little damp underfoot!  It's why I normally wear (or carry) a coat of some form!








Pictures from this point are of the second 'darker' bird.





Now it's over to you - click the blue button and off you go - with luck I'll be able to respond quickly this week, but I'm not sure, as, believe it or not, I am on the road again!



28 comments:

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Flightless birds are fascinating...that one picture looks like he wants to fly.....very interesting post ...thank you ad always.

NatureFootstep said...

I love rails but have only seen one twice. Not much. :(

Thanks for hosting.

A Colorful World said...

A fascinating bird! I really enjoyed your wonderful photos. It was good getting your comment! I hope you had an amazing trip to New Zealand. I too was out of pocket for a week & a half...went to the daughter's and didn't have my new password with me for the email that is connected to blogger. It had just been changed. It's always something! :-)

Phil Slade said...

That's quite a size Stewart. The bill and the huge chunky legs give it away. I guess it's at least twice as big as our UK Water Rail - not that we ever see them!

Brian King said...

Very cool looking bird! I've never heard of them. I love the second to last photo!

Findlay Wilde said...

Just look how sturdy those legs are! Great bird.

Sharon Wagner said...

I like the shot where he's dancing and fluffing his feathers. The bird looks like a cross between a hawk and a chicken.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Similar to a rail. That 6th one is like it's dancin' in the streets!! ---Like David Bowie and Mick Jagger. ;-}

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

cool feet

Andrea Priebe said...

An unusual bird for sure ... pretty in some ways (coloring, especially on the wings) and ordinary in other ways. He doesn't look like a chicken even if he is the same size. I assume there must have been some mix and matching going on in nature somewhere. An interesting bird for sure ... :) I have to wonder why they lost their flight capabilities. (I thought we would be getting birds from India ... not yet, right?)

Andrea @ From The Sol

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the Weka is a cool bird. Looks a lot like the juvie moorhen. Great series of photos.

Thanks for hosting, Have a happy week!

Sue (this n that) said...

A beautiful bird - I love the stretching-out photo especially :D)

Nora said...

Great Photos Stewart! So close. What strange feet he has. It always amazes me the different variety of birds in the world. It is as if some mad scientist went crazy and created the most strange colorful birds that he could!

Mosura said...

Wonderful bird. Love the pattern in the feathers in #6.

Les Fous du Cap said...

Quel drôle d'oiseau !!! ;-)
Céline & Philippe

photodoug said...

Stewart, interesting bird. Thanks for sharing.

Missy George said...

Love it's feathers even if it can't fly..Looks like it could hide pretty well..neat feet!! Have a good trip..

Wally Jones said...

Terrific photographs, Stewart! Even if you didn't lay on your belly in the damp leaves!

The Weka is a new one for me. Would love to visit and see one in person.

All the best from stormy Florida!

Liz said...

What an interesting post Stewart! I couldn't help but notice how similar the wing feathers are to the tail feathers of a kookaburra!

Gayle - venturesinphotos said...

What beautiful plumage and you caught the texture in your photos

Chris Rohrer said...

I love the fluffing feather shot. Nice bird!

A Quiet Corner said...

One can never have enough jackets to carry...the feathers of this beauty remind me of a pheasant for some reason...:)JP

Lady Fi said...

What a sweet bird.

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

I love reading about the different birds you share, ones we don't see in my part of the world.

JRandSue said...

Love to see one,perhaps in a couple of years time,these are stunning Rail,or should I say Rails.
Lovely captures Stewart,wee are off to Cuba next week,so hope you have a good time,we will.
John.

David Gascoigne said...

Great shots of an iconic NZ bird, Stewart. It's a country I would love to visit but whether I ever will is another matter!

Weekend-Windup said...

Beautiful bird with sharp beak:)

Pat Tillett said...

Unusual bird and great photos of it. It almost has a predator look to it's eyes and face.