The Pukeko, or New Zealand Swamp Hen is a member of the rail family, and is similar to other species found all over the world. It is one of the few New Zealand native birds to have flourished since the arrival of man, and can be found in almost any grassland area, especially in swampy locations. Groups will often be seen foraging for food in road-side areas.
With their bright blue plumage and red beaks, they easily stand out against the New Zealand greenery, particularly when their white tail feathers begin flashing in alarm. Just why they have struck a chord with the Kiwi psyche is hard to say, but you'll find their images on all manner of art and craft works. Ask any visitor to New Zealand what bird they remember most, and they will more than likely answer, "The Pukeko!" ~ Bernard