Rhynochetos – Kagu

Very rare, ground-dwelling bird found in the islands of New Caledonia

The only living species of this genus and family is the Kagu. It is closely related to tropicbirds found in the tropical Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian seas, with the Sunbittern being its closest surviving relative.

This family includes huge birds that are characterized as “something between a little heron and a rail.” Adults stand around 55 cm (22 in) tall, with ash-grey plumage, orange-red beaks, and legs. Long crest feathers are a distinguishing feature of these birds.

Most of the day, these birds seek food in the litter layer and low sections of trees and trunks. They consume a wide range of food, from earthworms, beetles, and snails to lizards and tiny fish, and they are generalists.