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Wooden Pukekos


Wooden NZ pukeko ornament – our most iconic native bird. How cute are these realistic looking pukekos?

Vibrant colours painted on wood with wire legs and feet.

Size: small 25 x 15cm  large 35 x 20cm.

For outdoors  coat with a marine grade exterior clear gloss available at hardware stores.


This beautiful NZ wooden pukeko ornament is a realistic depiction of one of New Zealand’s most iconic birds. The colours are vibrant and instantly recognisable as those of our pukeko – It even has the white underside at the rear.

The pūkeko is probably one of the most recognised native birds in New Zealand with its distinctive colourings and habit of feeding on the ground.

Pūkeko is the New Zealand name for the purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio). There are many subspecies of purple swamphen. The subspecies found in New Zealand (Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus) is thought to have landed here around a thousand years ago from Australia.

Pūkeko are a member of the rail family of birds.  Pūkeko are about 51 cms long with distinctive colourings; a deep blue colour, with a black head and upperparts, white feathers under their tail, and a red bill and legs.

Pūkeko are widespread and are as at home in pasture and farmland as they are in wetlands. They are commonly seen along marshy roadsides and low-lying open country.

Unlike many other native birds, the pūkeko has adapted well to new habitats, such as grassed paddocks, croplands and even city parks, a necessity brought about by disappearing wetlands. However, the pūkeko is essentially a bird of swampy ground, lagoons, reeds, rushes and swamps.

Although they’re not great flyers, they are good waders, swimmers and runners.

They’re mostly vegetarian, but also eat invertebrates, eggs, frogs, small fish, chicks and mammals, especially in breeding season where chicks are fed protein-rich animals.

Pūkeko are cooperative breeders, with multiple male and female birds often sharing a nest and responsibility for incubating eggs and raising chicks. Pūkeko can be aggressive and territorial.

(Department of Conservation, New Zealand)

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