Takahe on Tiritiri Matangi Island

in Hauraki Gulf off Auckland, N.Z.

These flightless birds are unique to New Zealand. Thought to be extinct in the 1940s a small colony was discovered in Fiordland in the South Island. Titiriti Matangi is a predator proof sanctuary for these ground nesting birds, and they have about 17 breeding birds in about 3 or 4 families. They have the endearing habit of mutual grooming, and they use their claws to strip the seeds from the tussock grass on which they feed.

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