from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A flightless bird (Gallirallus australis) of New Zealand, having mottled brown plumage and short legs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The woodhen, a flightless bird of New Zealand.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A New Zealand rail (Ocydromus australis) which has wings so short as to be incapable of flight.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of several species of large, flightless rails of the genus Ocydromus, found in New Zealand: commonly known as wood-hen.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. flightless New Zealand rail of thievish disposition having short wings each with a spur used in fighting


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition




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  • I wonder if wekau is somehow linguistically and/or cladistically related? Also, the Wordnet definition is boffo: "flightless New Zealand rail of thievish disposition..."

    April 15, 2014

  • I've heard that! Wouldn't mind seeing it too (even more so if it weren't my car being snacked upon).

    February 26, 2008

  • Hehe, and it's true as well. Keas are the absolute Mr Personality of the bird world from my encounters with them. Turn your back and they'll pick the rubber from around your windscreen just for fun. Think of green, feathered monkeys :-7

    February 26, 2008

  • Great excerpt! I love the description of the keas and their "rolling, sailor-like gait."

    February 26, 2008

  • "A while later we stop at one of the government huts, which is very clean and bare, and home to several juvenile native parrots, called keas, who run up and down the picnic table with their rolling, sailor-like gait, squawking and eyeballing you and trying to get your pack undone. There is also the occasional weka, an extraordinarily dim bird that wanders around in a daze and often tries to escape from walkers by hiding between their legs."

    - 'Back To The Track' in GW, Amanda Hooton, 23 Feb 2008.

    February 26, 2008