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Nature Tuesday – The New Zealand Pukako

The New Zealand Pukako is really a New Zealand version of swamp hen. It is a bird that lives in our mud flats, or marshes. I think it eats small live animals in the mud. Probably some vegetables, maybe..

I was surprised that when I was at Tasmania one of the first birds I saw was the Tasmanian Moor hen or Tasmanian Swamp hen. It is exactly the same size and shape of our New Zealand Pukako and even the chicks look the same as ours.

The Thumbnail is a Pukako at the Auckland Zoo. The Pukakos are everywhere and are a common sight to see.

When something in life does not make any sense, a New Zealand expression is “Up the Waps! (or up the Trees) Shooting Pukakos! Pukakos don’t go up trees, but Pukakos are capable of flying.

#1 Katavic Park, Papakura, South Auckland

2 Pukakos and one Pied Shag drying it's wings in the sun.

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#2 Pukako in Western Springs Park

It is a graceful bird as a ballerina and has a lot of personality.

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Written by Pamela Moresby

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