Kagu in exhibit
Scientific Name
Rhynochetos jubatus
Geographic Range
New Caledonia
Invertebrates like worms and snails, small vertebrates like lizards
Kagu in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Endangered Endangered Status Graph - Endangered

More Information

Kagus are large, flightless birds that can reach 2 feet in height. Males and females have bluish-gray plumage, orange beaks and eggs, and red eyes. They also have black barring on their wings. They prefer forested habitats and are territorial, protecting areas of up to 70 acres.

These birds form monogamous mating pairs that raise just one chick per year. After courtship, females build nests that look like a pile of leaves. They incubate eggs for up to 40 days.

Did You Know?

  • Kagus have specialized feathers called powder downs, which make powder that helps keep the bird clean, waterproof, and insulated.
  • To surprise potential predators, they flap their large wings. They also use their long legs to outrun danger.
  • Free-roaming domestic dogs are an ongoing problem for these birds, along with other predators such as cats and rats. In 2017, two dogs killed 75% of the radio-tagged individuals in one park with the largest subpopulation (more than 1,000 individuals) over a two-month period. Conservation programs have been put in place to protect them.
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