The social organization of the pukeko, Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus, Temminck, 1820 : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology at Massey University

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Massey University
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The social organization and behaviour of the pukeko, Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus, is described for two different habitats. The study shows that pukeko breed in pairs or communal groups with the proportion of these varying according to habitat. All breeding pairs and groups defend territories, but the degree of maintenance varies. In some defence occurs at all times of the year; of the remainder and outside the breeding season, some restrict defence to a core area while with the rest defence ceases. Outside the breeding season also, part of the population form flocks. A hierarchy exists among members of groups and flocks. Furthermore, a hierarchy is found between pukeko of adjacent territories as is demonstrated by differential boundary positions. In group territories, all adults participate in breeding and often more than one female lays in the same nest. Breeding success varies, in this study, pairs are more successful than groups.
Pukeko, Porphyrio porphyrio, Swamp hen, Pukeko breeding, Bird hierarchy, Pukeko behaviour