Weka are large rails. They are predominantly rich brown mottled with black and grey the brown shade varies from pale to dark depending on subspecies. The male is the larger sex at 50–60 cm (20–24 in) in length and 532–1,605 g (1.173–3.538 lb) in weight. Females measure 46–50 cm (18–20 in) in length and weigh 350–1,035 g (0.772–2.282 lb). The reduced wingspan ranges from 50 to 60 cm (20 to 24 in). The relatively large, reddish-brown beak is about 5 cm (2.0 in) long, stout and tapered, and used as a weapon. The pointed tail is near-constantly being flicked, a sign of unease characteristic of the rail family. Weka have sturdy legs and reduced wings.