Mate selection involves several courtship behaviors. Duetting and neck-pecking, of both sexes, are the most common behaviors. Following courtship, the female solicits the male by positioning her back toward the male, spreading her wings, and putting her head down. Allopreening and copulation is then done by the male.
Mating System: monogamous
Breeding occurs following the New Zealand winter, ending sometime in October. A deep, bowl-shaped nest is constructed of fine grass. Females lay a clutch of 1 to 3 eggs that hatch after about 30 days of incubation. Different survival rates have been reported, but on average only one chick will survive to adulthood.
Breeding interval: Southern takahe breed once a year.
Breeding season: The breeding season occurs following the New Zealand winter, in October.
Range eggs per season: 1 to 3.
Average eggs per season: 1.
Average time to hatching: 30 days.
Average fledging age: 3 months.
Average time to independence: 1 years.
Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
South Island takahe pairs, when not incubating eggs, are generally seen in close proximity to each other. In contrast a breeding pair is rarely together during incubation, so it is assumed that one bird is always on the nest. Females incubate significantly more during the day and males more at night. Post-hatch observations suggest that both sexes spend similar amounts of time feeding the young. The young are fed until they are about 3 months old, at which time they become independent.
Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female)
- Ryan, C. 1997. Observations on the Breeding Behaviors of the Takahe (Porphyrio mantelli) on Manu Island. Nortonis, 44: 233-240. Accessed April 15, 2008 at www.google.com/scholar.