Story: Large forest birds

Pūkeko (2nd of 2)


Pūkeko are closely related to takahē, but are less bulky, and can fly. Pūkeko colonised New Zealand around 1,000 years ago – whereas takahē have been evolving in the country for thousands of years. Takahē are endemic to New Zealand (found nowhere else), whereas pūkeko, also known as the purple gallinule or swamp hen, are widespread around the world. The same subspecies occurs in eastern Australia and Tasmania – presumably where the New Zealand birds originated.

Using this item

New Zealand Herald
Reference: 7 June 2004 (NZH-1002248)
Photograph by Greg Bowker

Permission of the New Zealand Herald must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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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