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Takahe Video Stock Footage

The takahē is the largest living member of the family Rallidae. Its overall length averages 63 cm (25 in) and its average weight is about 2.7 kg (6.0 lb) in males and 2.3 kg (5.1 lb) in females, ranging from 1.8–4.2 kg (4.0–9.3 lb). Its standing height is around 50 cm (20 in). It is a stocky, powerful bird, with short strong legs and a massive bill which can deliver a painful bite to the unwary. It is flightless although its wings are reduced, they are sometimes used to help it clamber up slopes. Takahē plumage, beaks, and legs show typical gallinule colours. Adult takahē plumage is silky, iridescent, and mostly dark-blue or navy-blue on the head, neck, and underside, peacock blue on the wings. The back and inner wings are teal and green, becoming olive-green at the tail, which is white underneath. Takahe have a bright scarlet frontal shield and "carmine beaks marbled with shades of red". Their scarlet legs were described as "crayfish-red" by one of the early rediscoverers. Sexes are similar the females are slightly smaller, and may display frayed tail feathers when nesting. Chicks are covered with jet-black fluffy down when hatched, and have very large brown legs, with a dark white-tipped bill. Immature takahe have a duller version of adult colouring, with a dark bill that turns red as they mature.

Learn more about Takahe

Animalia: Chordata: Gruiformes: Aves: Rallidae: Porphyrio hochstetteri

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