We are lucky to have the charismatic Wekas pay regular visits here at Ohiwa Seascape Studios. The Weka is a large flightless Rail and is endemic ie natural breeding range is here in NZ and nowhere else. They're not to be confused with Kiwis.
They have a fairly robust stronghold here in the Waiotahe area. They are omnivores, and scavengers and predators. They can be cheeky at times with humans, searching for food, though here at Ohiwa Seascape Studios, they are rather shy of the cats but try to help themselves to food from the chicken house.
Main threats are starvation during droughts and predation by mustelids, especially ferrets. Hopefully they are safe from ferrets in this area as we have an extensive trapping program running.
Breeding season is late Winter to mid Summer which will explain why we saw a family here recently - Parents with three chicks. A typical clutch size is 1-3 chicks. The burrow is a deep woven cup usually with dry vegetation such as Pampas. They're often seen dashing in and out of the ladder fern here.
They can often be heard calling at dawn and also in the half hour after sunset. Pairs will duet each other. They also make booming calls and soft clucking contact calls.
I enjoy hearing the early evening bedtime duets.
Karen is a co-owner of Ohiwa Seascape Studios. When she is not busy at the studios, she is busy enjoying becoming a part of the local community here in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.