Recent searches (0)
The Lord Howe woodhen is native to the east coast of Australia. A member of the Rallidae family, the woodhens are flightless and are only found in the whereabouts of Lord Howe Island. The Lord Howe Island is now declared a World Heritage Area and is almost 435 mi (700 km) to the east of Port Macquarie along the south Pacific Ocean. The birds are primarily found in the island's higher, mountainous areas. These forests are mostly covered by gnarled moss and lesser palm trees. The birds are monogamous in nature and breed with the same partner throughout. During this time both the parents engage in feeding the chicks and protecting the nest from predators. The breeding occurs mostly in the lowlands due to the proper availability of food and water. Within 65 days of birth, the chicks get fully grown up and form their own post-juvenile groups. Read on to find out more about this interesting bird, the Lord Howe woodhen.
The Lord Howe island woodhen (Gallirallus sylvestris) is a bird of the Sylvestris species. Lord Howe bird is a member of the family Rallidae belonging to the Order Gruiformes of Australian origin.
The Lord Howe island woodhen (Gallirallus sylvestris) belongs to the Aves class of animals. The Sylvestris species has the genus Hypotaenidia with phylum Chordata.
The Lord Howe island woodhens (Gallirallus sylvestris) is listed under the Endangered Category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Even though the birds are an endangered Sylvestris species they have a stable population of 220-230 individuals residing on Lord Howe Island.
The Lord Howe island woodhen was one of the most endangered species, but due to a systematic conservation method and program, the birds have a stable life. The Lord Howe birds of Sylvestris species are strictly restricted and found on the Lord Howe Island off the Australian east coast.
The entire population of the Lord Howe island woodhen birds is restricted to the subtropical forest of Lord Howe Island. The Lord Howe island's habitat includes several rainforest environments ranging from the low-lying palm forests to the mountain tops. The Lord Howe birds are mostly sedentary but movement occurs across the forests in search of proper food and shelter.
The Lord Howe island woodhens of the Sylvestris species are strictly monogamous and are known to pair for life. The birds pair once and have the same partner for multiple breeding seasons. The Australian Lord Howe mostly live in pairs and are occasionally seen living alone before pairing for the breeding season. At present, around 73-74 pairs of the Lord Howe birds are residing on the Lord Howe Island.
The Lord Howe birds are known to have a long life in comparison to the other wildlife creatures. The Lord Howe woodhen lifespan may extend up to 14 years on average. Although when the species are kept under proper wildlife conservation, they might live a longer and healthier life.
A native of the Lord Howe Island, the Lord Howe woodhens are territorial and monogamous by nature. The birds pair once and for their entire life. The Sylvestris species breed during the onset of summer and lay eggs during the months of August-January. The bird attains sexual maturity by the age of 9 months and is known to be ready for breeding. The pair builds a nest stuck to the ground beneath vegetation or in burrows made with grass, ferns, and leaves. Both parents are responsible for building the nest and nurturing the chicks post the breeding period. The pair lays 1-4 eggs and the incubation period lasts up to 20-23 days. The eggs are shifted from the nest to the brood nest within two days of hatching. Within 28 days of birth, the Lord Howe chicks develop feathers.
The Lord Howe island woodhen is an Endangered Australian species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Previously they were near-extinct creatures but due to the adoption of a systematic program and consistent captive breeding, stable growth in the population is noticed. Currently, 220-230 Lord Howe individuals are present with 73-74 pairs living in the forests of the Lord Howe Island.
Both sexes are similar to each other in terms of appearances but females are smaller than males in terms of their size. The Lord Howe woodhen wing is predominantly plain olive and brown in color while the remiges have a dark brown shade. The chicks have orange remiges but the plumage is reddish-brown with the bill being comparatively shorter.
Needless to say, these woodhens are small, fluffy, and brown creatures. The polished and sober colors make them look attractive and are a delight to the eye of the visitors.
The Lord Howe bird has a loud, significant whistle 'coo-eet'. The calls are repetitive and are emitted by the pairs to the neighboring pairs. They can be heard mostly during the day and rarely at night. In case of danger, to warn the other members, they emit a loud 'brr-deep'. The chicks usually communicate with their parents by emitting a 'booomp' note.
Lord Howe woodhens have an average weight of around 0.9-1.7 lb (410–780 g) in the case of males and 0.7-1.4 lb (330–615 g) in the case of female individuals. The Lord Howe woodhen height may go up to 16.5 in (42 cm) for the male and 14.6 in (37 cm) for the female members. They are small and are less than the size of a weka bird of the rail family that measures around 18-20 in (45.7-50.8 cm).
Although the birds are flightless creatures, they have an average wingspan of around 18.5-19.3 in (47–49 cm).
They have a weight of 0.9-1.7 lb (410–780 g) for the male and 0.7-1.4 lb (330–615 g) for the female members of the family.
There is no specific name assigned to the male and the female members. They are mostly referred to as the gender that the individuals belong to.
A baby Lord Howe woodhen is usually referred to as a chick.
The Sylvestris species is omnivorous by nature and feed on worms, crustaceans, insects, mollusks, myriapods, spiders, and Hemiptera. They feed on lichens, fungi, pteridophytes, and fruits as well. They also tend to feed on meat, stew, butter, porridge, biscuits, bread, chocolate if available. In the case of water, they depend on the island's streams and pools.
The Lord Howe woodhens are known to not be dangerous or harmful to humans or related creatures. Although they get aggressive and protective while guarding their nests during the breeding season.
The Lord Howe bird is a bird of the wild and there has been no information regarding them being kept as pets by humans. Although due to the decreasing population trend earlier they were kept for conservation in captive breeding, being provided with proper food and shelter.
Some of these woodhens are known to lay eggs 11 times within a span of 18 months!
The woodhens travel from the lower to the higher parts of the mountains mostly during the night.
They were considered the most critically threatened birds in terms of their existence during the mid-'60s.
Since the birds are only found on the Lord Howe Island off the east coast of Australia, they are named after the place of their origin.
Yes, the Lord Howe birds are currently classified as endangered. The major reason for that is the clearing of forests as well as the unrestricted hunting activities by humans for food during the period when Lord Howe island saw human settlement.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these giant cowbird facts and ani bird facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bird coloring pages.
Main image by Toby Hudson.
Second image by patrickkavanagh.
Read The Disclaimer
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.