25 Nov '11, 12am

Pukeko crowned New Zealand Bird of the Year

Pukeko crowned New Zealand Bird of the Year

The Pukeko is thought to have landed on New Zealand shores around a thousand years ago from Australia (Steve Attwood). The swamp-loving Pukeko has won Forest & Bird’s (BirdLife in New Zealand) annual Bird of the Year election. It won 1480 votes in what ended up as a two-bird race with the Kakapo, which gained 1068 votes. Forest & Bird’s Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell says the Pukeko is one of the best ambassadors for our wetlands. “These swamp hens love feeding on the grubs and plants that can be found in our wetlands,” says Kevin Hackwell. “Unfortunately 90 percent of our swamplands have been drained to make way for farms and other developments, so our Pukeko have taken up the role as scavengers, sometimes picking on crops and foraging alongside motorways. “Wetlands are incredible bird-magnets so protecting and restoring them is crucial.” The Pukeko is thought to have la...

Full article: http://www.birdlife.org/community/2011/11/pukeko-crowned-...

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