Wekaralle ( Gallirallus australis)

The Wekaralle ( Gallirallus australis) is a New Zealand wading bird of the family of the Rail birds ( Rallidae ).


The 50 cm long and 1 kg Wekaralle is a flightless bird with very small wings and short, stocky legs. The brown upper side and lower side greyish plumage is streaked dark.


The Wekaralle lives in the bush, forest edges and grasslands in New Zealand.

Way of life

The bird is an omnivore, among whose food seeds, fruits, bird eggs, carrion, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. So the Wekaralle counts on the South Island of New Zealand, for example, to the essential predators of the Thick-billed penguin. Be eaten by it, especially the young birds and eggs. If the situation requires it, he can run fast and swim as well. While the subspecies, which lives on the North Island, is considered shy, that is described in the South Island as curious.

The Wekaralle can breed throughout the year, so sometimes up to four clutches are produced. The main breeding season, however, is from August to February. In a shallow dish nest of sedge and grass between herbaceous plants and dead branches both parents incubate birds up to six eggs.