Kagu: A general summary

Kagu: A general summary

The cagou or more commonly kagu is a bird, which is generally found in the dense and the mountainous forests of the New Caledonia. The scientific name of the bird is Rhynochetos jubatus. Usually the bird is crested and bluish-grey in color along with long legs, which are bright red. These birds are almost flightless, since they do not have enough muscular strength to fly. Therefore, these birds are generally ground living. A mature bird is about 55 cm long. Their weight varies in a range of 700-1100 gm. 

The most striking feature of the bird is the presence of ‘nasal corns’. This feature is not exhibited by any of members of the Aves class. These corns prevent dust and other particles from entering their nasal cavity while they dig with their beaks. Another striking feature of these birds is their plumage. It is generally white or ash-grey, which is quite unique for being a ground bird. Their plumage seems ordinary in plain sight. However, when fanned out they form a beautiful shape.

The anatomical fact that makes the species unique is that, these birds have only one-third RBC and yet three times the hemoglobin when compared to the other birds. The kagu has been considered as an endangered species. It is because of the introduction of potential predators. The other factors that led to its scarcity are hunting in order to be sold as pets. They were also captured for zoos and museums. It has been fully protected in the New Caledonia as of now.