The Cheeky Weka

Weka’s are unique to New Zealand and look almost aggressive with a funny walk involving lots of tail bobbing. They are the size of a chicken, but have been known to bully them and steal their eggs.

Some of Weka’s food are earthworms, larvae, beetles, weta, ants, grass grubs, slugs, snails, insect eggs, slaters, frogs, spiders, rats, mice, and small birds…. I’ve seen one polish off a blackbird. They would be handy controlling garden pests if they didn’t also dig up your garden searching for more food. They are extremely curious and have gone for my discarded footwear.

They will go after your food and make a lot of noise when you are trying to sleep. They are the scavengers and the predators…. but their eggs and young are just as vulnerable to stoats as other New Zealand birds. And, like a lot of other native New Zealand birds, are vulnerable and threatened and need some help to survive.

The interesting thing about them – they are a pest on the Chatham Islands, located 860km east of Christchurch. It’s the only place Weka’s are allowed to be eaten and are apparently delicious.

Chatham Islanders are called Weka’s like mainland New Zealanders are called Kiwi’s.

I’ve only seen them around Nelson Lakes, Karamea and Kawau Island. I think they are now one of my favourite New Zealand birds (after fantails) and I love their spunk and daring. The aggressive chicken. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more photos and videos of them on this website.

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