Albino weka rare addition to dairy farm

9 01 2008

The weka is extremely rare and only the second to ever be reported to the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Mr Berry noticed the white fluffy chick one morning before Christmas while he was out milking, and it is now a regular sighting on their Bulls Road farm.

DOC biodiversity ranger Julie Geritzlehner said it had been identified as a male and did not seem to have any problems with eyesight — a common problem with albinos.

However, the weka was not so keen to make friends.

“He was a bit shy, when I tried to get close enough to take a photo he darted away quite quickly which is a bit unusual,” Ms Geritzlehner said.

They decided it was best to leave the weka at the farm rather than attempting to place him in captivity. However, he may not live as long as other wekas.

“Because it’s so obvious in the landscape it means he may be more susceptible to things like harrier hawks,” Ms Geritzlehner said.

Another albino weka was spotted in Hector a few years ago but was never actually seen by a DOC ranger.  Source…

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