Monday, May 26, 2014

Visitors

Little Aiden is coming to stay!  For a week.  Just him and me for a whole week, with many visits from Georgia.  We started preparing the minute we heard the news and spent yesterday hard at work.  We printed out pictures and stuck them to the wall of his bedroom, we made signs and a crown and  a book.  The book is a work in progress, you don't throw a book fit for a king together in one day.


In the meantime I have another visitor.  Georgia has named it Peewee, a good unisex name because we don't know how to tell the sex of a pukeko.  The males are meant to be bigger than the females but without another standing beside it, it's hard to tell.  I first noticed it around about a week ago when something odd caught my eye.   I haven't seen a pukeko here before, there are heaps further along the road in a swampy area but around here isn't their typical habitat.  It was happy about the puddle that appeared after  yesterday's rain, but that hard ground is hardly the swampy conditions they prefer.

 
I have come to the conclusion that Pukeko are suicidal. I so often see them on the side of the road, dithering, darting backwards and forwards, looking for an opportunity to cross, only to come back later to see them squashed on the road. They seem to have no road sense at all. However, the ornithologist WRB Oliver had other ideas when he said, “The Pukeko is a bold and fearless bird. It has learned that trains and motorcars are harmless and takes no notice of them.”
If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarlet bill and orange-red legs and feet complete a very exotic picture.
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf

They are such communal creatures, I thought they lived in permanent social groups, I know that all females in a group lay in the one nest and it's pretty unusual to see one off by itself.  Is it an adventurous young male perhaps off exploring the world?  Or a rogue, an outcast?  It seems to like the company of my chooks although it doesn't go too close, just stays on the outskirts of the group.  


have come to the conclusion that Pukeko are suicidal. I so often see them on the side of the road, dithering, darting backwards and forwards, looking for an opportunity to cross, only to come back later to see them squashed on the road. They seem to have no road sense at all. However, the ornithologist WRB Oliver had other ideas when he said, “The Pukeko is a bold and fearless bird. It has learned that trains and motorcars are harmless and takes no notice of them.”
If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarlet bill and orange-red legs and feet complete a very exotic picture.
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf
have come to the conclusion that Pukeko are suicidal. I so often see them on the side of the road, dithering, darting backwards and forwards, looking for an opportunity to cross, only to come back later to see them squashed on the road. They seem to have no road sense at all. However, the ornithologist WRB Oliver had other ideas when he said, “The Pukeko is a bold and fearless bird. It has learned that trains and motorcars are harmless and takes no notice of them.”
If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarlet bill and orange-red legs and feet complete a very exotic picture.
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf
have come to the conclusion that Pukeko are suicidal. I so often see them on the side of the road, dithering, darting backwards and forwards, looking for an opportunity to cross, only to come back later to see them squashed on the road. They seem to have no road sense at all. However, the ornithologist WRB Oliver had other ideas when he said, “The Pukeko is a bold and fearless bird. It has learned that trains and motorcars are harmless and takes no notice of them.”
If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarlet bill and orange-red legs and feet complete a very exotic picture.
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf
have come to the conclusion that Pukeko are suicidal. I so often see them on the side of the road, dithering, darting backwards and forwards, looking for an opportunity to cross, only to come back later to see them squashed on the road. They seem to have no road sense at all. However, the ornithologist WRB Oliver had other ideas when he said, “The Pukeko is a bold and fearless bird. It has learned that trains and motorcars are harmless and takes no notice of them.”
If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarlet bill and orange-red legs and feet complete a very exotic picture.
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf
I have come to the conclusion that Pukeko are suicidal. I so often see them on the side of the road, dithering, darting backwards and forwards, looking for an opportunity to cross, only to come back later to see them squashed on the road. They seem to have no road sense at all. However, the ornithologist WRB Oliver had other ideas when he said, “The Pukeko is a bold and fearless bird. It has learned that trains and motorcars are harmless and takes no notice of them.”
If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarlet bill and orange-red legs and feet complete a very exotic picture.
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf
I have come to the conclusion that Pukeko are suicidal. I so often see them on the side of the road, dithering, darting backwards and forwards, looking for an opportunity to cross, only to come back later to see them squashed on the road. They seem to have no road sense at all. However, the ornithologist WRB Oliver had other ideas when he said, “The Pukeko is a bold and fearless bird. It has learned that trains and motorcars are harmless and takes no notice of them.”
If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarlet bill and orange-red legs and feet complete a very exotic picture.
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf
They are birds that are full of character and can provide a lot of amusement for the observer. The white undertail is flirted cheekily with every movement and their high querulous notes run the whole gamut of expression, from curiosity to interrogation to scolding. The naturalist Guthrie Smith maintained that they make great pets and that every country family should rear them. - See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf
It's very wary.  I just have to move towards the door (photos taken through the window) and it is off although I don't alarm it as much now as when it first appeared.  To start with it would take off into flight, now it just runs away.  It's even harder to get close to than a wild duck.


If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarlet bill and orange-red legs and feet complete a very exotic picture.
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf
Abundant throughout New Zealand, in rough damp pasture near wetlands. - See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf
have come to the conclusion that Pukeko are suicidal. I so often see them on the side of the road, dithering, darting backwards and forwards, looking for an opportunity to cross, only to come back later to see them squashed on the road. They seem to have no road sense at all. However, the ornithologist WRB Oliver had other ideas when he said, “The Pukeko is a bold and fearless bird. It has learned that trains and motorcars are harmless and takes no notice of them.”
If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarl
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpu
have come to the conclusion that Pukeko are suicidal. I so often see them on the side of the road, dithering, darting backwards and forwards, looking for an opportunity to cross, only to come back later to see them squashed on the road. They seem to have no road sense at all. However, the ornithologist WRB Oliver had other ideas when he said, “The Pukeko is a bold and fearless bird. It has learned that trains and motorcars are harmless and takes no notice of them.”
If I count the numbers killed on the relatively short stretch of road I drive over two or three times a week, more than a hundred must die there every year. If one multiplies that with the hundreds of similar stretches of road, then one wonders how the species can sustain itself but somehow they do. Indeed they are so common they are often treated with undeserved contempt.
They are of course drawn to roadsides because of the drains there which supply the sort of habitat they particularly like and which has virtually disappeared elsewhere, the raupo swamps. So they are not so stupid or suicidal after all. It is really just that a particularly desirable food source outweighs the risks.
Pukeko, a member of the rail family which includes Weka, is really quite one of the most gorgeous of our birds and does not deserve the contempt bred from familiarity. They are also called the Purple Swamp Hen or Purple Gallinule although they are not really purple at all but, for the most part, a deep almost iridescent indigo blue. The back and wings are black with a greenish gloss and the undertail coverts are pure white. The large scarlet bill and orange-red legs and feet complete a very exotic picture.
- See more at: http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/pukeko.html#sthash.6rjumV44.dpuf

6 comments:

  1. What an interesting bird. I've never seen anything like it - and that's what I love about Blogdom - always something new to learn.

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  2. Pee Wee, the Pukeko... how cute. You have some very interesting birds in New Zealand. Maybe this lovely bird is just taking a vacation... seeing the sights.
    Enjoy Aiden's visit too. Everyone seems to like your place.

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  3. Enjoy Aidan's visit. I hope you two will have a lot of fun.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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  4. I hope that the visit is a great success which, of course, it will be.

    I didn't know pukekos laid eggs in a communal nest although, as you say, they are very social birds. The last few years they have colonised the orchard in front of The Cottage although that's not swampy. Their screech in flight at night though is enough to awaken the dead.

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  5. A fascinating bird, one i'd never heard of before. Had to look him up in Wikipedia.

    Enjoy the visit!

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  6. Unusual events make life interesting.

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I love to know who's visiting. Leave me a sign!