Close Encounters of a Pukeko Kind

(Ken, don’t read this – You’ve been warned OK?)

As you may remember (check here if you don’t – linkie) boggy roadsides and pasture are the one of the favoured hangouts of one of our common New Zealand  birds, the pukeko.  I think  I also mentioned that pukekos are not very bright about roads.

As we started our drive away on our holiday, it was about the time of evening that the pukekos like to graze. So there’s any number of them out in the paddocks (fields) and PB & I are discussing how we must try to get some better  close-up photos of them on this trip.

Then two pop up out of the ditch on the side of the road.  And cross the road.  Just as we are driving towards them. Just as a car is coming towards them on the other side of the road also.  Did I mention before that pukekos aren’t the brightest

We hit one.

The car hit one.

I did mention before that pukekoes are not very road-savy didn’t I?

At least the vehicles didn’t hit each other.

There was no way to avoid them.

It was them, or the other car, or end up in the ditch.

We stopped – the car didn’t.  The one we hit with the van was, well, dead.

PB couldn’t find the other one, so we hope it just got clipped but was OK.

So that was a bad start to our holiday.

Our record  for the whole trip.


–  Pukekoes   1

–  Small nasty insects  100’s

Near Misses

–          Pukekoes 3

–          Rabbits 2

–          Quail families  5+  (also not very bright about crossing the road)

–          Harrier hawks  1

–          Small birds 10+

 In the end we never did get any really good close-up pic of the pukekos. Here are a few of our efforts.

Annie's Pukeko stalking effort

Parent & Baby

Pukeko & Friends


And here are some other pukeko we spotted on the trip.

Camper Pukeko

Motueka Pukeko

Market Pukeko

Pukeko Couple


And coming soon to a blog near you are a number of new entries:

A Cache A Day    (including another surprise FTF !)

Limestone Country

Rock On Kiwi Music!


 Freedom Camping in New Zealand (or Would You Poo behind a Bush?)

9 responses to “Close Encounters of a Pukeko Kind

  1. Lol@ small nasty insects!

    Cool bird, I like its long red toes.
    Beyond all the roadkill, sounds like a lekker break away – and everyone has to poo behind a bush at least twice.

  2. Loved the bird pics. cartoons and all!

  3. Looks like a very pretty bird!

  4. How on earth did you not get a picture Annie…it was pancaked right in front of you…it wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry!

    I’m going to lie down…I may take days to recover.

  5. It was indeed a cool, choice and otherwise great holiday!!!
    The entry that tells how many caches we got will start like this:
    (Tracy – don’t read this. You will be too jealous about how many caches we got!)


  6. Hi Moranna!!

    Welcome to my crazy blog. I do usually write in it every couple of days!!


  7. Most of our NZ birds are kind of drab colours. But we have a couple of spectacular blue ones – these, and the very rare takahe.


  8. The builder asked me what I was laughing at when I read this comment Ken!!

    BUT – I did warn you!!!!! LOL

    Tell Maisie that if she wants to sample some pukeko it is apparently going to be available for eating here at the local ‘WildFoods’ Festival that is coming up in a couple of weeks.


  9. As much as it sucks…. sometimes hitting animals is unavoidable 😦 My mom hit a deer once with the whole family in the car. I hit a huge rabbit once (and I cried! lol).

    Love those birds though!