kagu

New Caledonia, a tiny island east of Australia, is the only place where an unusual bird called the kagu is found. About the size of a chicken, the kagu has gray-blue feathers and long, bright-red legs. Just before dawn, kagu call out with a very distinctive song that can be heard throughout the forest. Scientists still have a lot to learn about this beautiful bird.

Scientific name: Rhynochetos jubatus
Size: a little over one foot tall
Habitat: found only in the tropical forests of New Caledonia, a remote island in the South Pacific
Diet: insect larvae
Characteristics: almost flightless with gray, white, and black feathers; long, blood-red beak
Threats: dogs, cats, rats, and other invasive species

Image credits: main image: courtesy of Trevor Quested.