T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Crake (Spotless) Porzana tabuensis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Porzana
Species: P. tabuensis
Binomial name: Porzana tabuensis
Common name: Spotless crake, pūweto

Porzana tabuensis is a species of bird in the rail family, Rallidae. It is found in American Samoa, Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Micronesia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Pitcairn, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga.

Porzana tabuensis is a small, dark, secretive rail whose population is widely scattered in New Zealand, being sparsely distributed on the three main islands and many small offshore islands, but most common in the upper North Island. They inhabit freshwater wetlands dominated by dense emergent vegetation, particularly raupo (Typha orientalis). 
Porzana tabuensis are about 20 cm in size, and weigh around 45 g. Their plumage is a dark brown on the upper parts and dark bluish grey beneath. The stout bill is black. The legs are orange-pink and the bright red eyes contrast sharply with the dark head. Juveniles are duller with a pale chin and throat and dark legs.
They have a broad omnivorous diet, feeding on seeds, fruit and leaves of aquatic plants, and a wide variety of invertebrates including worms, snails, spiders, beetles and other insects.
They are solitary and monogamous birds. They weave a cup shaped nest out of grass and sedge leaves. The nest are usually constructed >50 cm above the water level late July to January and the eggs are incubated by both parents for 20–22 days.
Threats to the species are habitat clearance and drainage, predation by introduced mammals such as cats, dogs, mustelids (stoats, weasels, ferrets) and rats.

  

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