Story: Large forest birds

Takahē (1st of 2)


Takahē are one of many species that became large and flightless after reaching New Zealand. With no need to escape from ground predators, the birds could afford to lose the power of flight. Once flightless, getting heavy is not a drawback – in fact it makes it feasible to fill up with slow-to-digest leafy food. The takahē is much heavier than its close relative the pūkeko, a more recent arrival.

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Photograph by Christina Troup

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Large forest birds - New Zealand’s large forest birds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 December 2023)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015, updated 1 Aug 2023