What bird is the size of a large chicken, has blue and green feathers and a red bill? The takahe. These birds live only in New Zealand. From 1800 to 1900, only four takahe birds were seen. By the 1900s, people believed these birds were extinct.
One man, a scientist named Dr. Geoffrey Orbell, refused to believe the birds were extinct. He walked all over New Zealand searching for them. Finally, in 1948, he found 250 birds living in a mountain valley. Scientists all over the world were excited about Dr. Orbell’s discovery. Since then, many birds have been moved to some protected islands in New Zealand where there are no predators. These birds are still endangered but their numbers are increasing.
Fun Facts about Takahes for Kids
- Takahes eat tender grass stalks, bugs and fern roots.
- Takahes live about 20 years. This is a long time for a bird.
- Takahes have been around for about 8 million years.
- These interesting birds have feathers, but they can’t fly.
- Both male and female birds take care of the babies. Takahes usually lay two eggs, but only one chick survives. Conservationists have started taking the second eggs and raising the chicks.
- Extinct: gone from the earth
- Scientist: person who studies science
- Valley: low place
- Protected: safe
- Conservationist: person who wants to protect the earth
Learn More All About Takahes
Watch this video documentary about them:
A video discussing about the takahes.
Question: Do conservationists raise the baby chicks to adulthood?
Answer: Conservationists let the birds go wild. They use a takahe puppet to feed the chicks so the babies don’t get used to humans.
Question: Are takahes nocturnal like kiwis?
Answer: Takahes aren’t nocturnal. They spend most of the day eating and sleep at night.