True to life replica of this NZ native icon - one of the best replica's available!
Finely detailed and hand-painted
Beautifully crafted in polyresin
Wonderful talking point for your patio or garden (some colour fading will occur in full sun)
Size approx. 300mm high
Great ornaments for the home
Ideal gifts for the discerning buyer looking for something just that little bit different
Like all the Hollow Log range, an ideal gift for the discerning buyer looking for something just that little bit different.
We are the worldwide online distributors and NZ agents for the Hollow Log Collection.
The pūkeko (Porphyrio melanotus) – also known as the swamp hen or purple gallinule – ranges beyond wetlands on to pasture and croplands. Its wide diet has allowed it to adapt to farmland and urban parks.
Pūkeko are bulky birds with long legs and long-toed feet adapted to swampy country. Males weigh over 1 kilogram, females 850 grams, and they average 51 centimetres long. Pūkeko are deep purple-blue and black, with red legs and bill. They flick their tail with each step, showing the white patch underneath. The birds usually walk holding their heads up like hens, and fly with feet dangling below the body. They swim with their tails erect.
Pūkeko and closely related species are found in most regions of the world, except the Americas and Antarctica. Fossil records indicate that they arrived in New Zealand around 1000 AD. Related species arrived much earlier and evolved into two endemic flightless species – the North and South island takahē.
Pūkeko appear to fly laboriously, yet they colonise distant islands and reach unlikely places. They normally live in lowland areas, but one intrepid bird was seen on the upper Tasman Glacier, stepping across a small crevasse.
Pūkeko eat a wide range of foods, including various kinds of vegetation – especially rhizomes and corms, shoots, seeds and clover leaves. They also feed on grubs, worms, small fish, chicks and small mammals. They sometimes scavenge larger carcasses. Chicks are generally fed a protein-rich diet of invertebrate or other animal foods.
To Māori, red was a noble colour – so pūkeko, with their bright red bills and frontal shields, had high status. But the birds were unpopular because they raided gardens, damaging kūmara (sweet potato) and taro crops. Pūkeko were cast as villains in a number of traditions. Some farmers still consider them pests.
While pūkeko sometimes breed in pairs, they often breed communally – they mate polygamously, several females lay eggs in one nest, and several males and non-breeding helpers assist with the incubation of eggs and the guarding and feeding of chicks. Nests are usually beaten-down clumps of tussock or rushes, often in water.