South Island takahe are large, flightless rails. South Island takahe are very colorful, with deep to peacock-blue heads, breasts, necks, and shoulders. The wings and back are olive-green and blue. The bill is large and red, as is the shield. South Island takahe also have large, powerful, red legs and feet. Young South Island takahe are deep blue to black at hatching but quickly take on the coloration of adults. There is little sexual dimorphism, although males average slightly larger in mass.
Average mass: Male 2.7 Female 2.3 kg.
Average length: 63 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; male larger