Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

Spatial Organisation and Breeding of Kagu Rhynochetos jubatus in Rivière Bleue Park, New Caledonia

Yves Letocart and Michel Salas

Emu 97(2) 97 - 107
Published: 1997


In Rivière Bleue Park, 23 Kagus, including six pairs, were tagged with radio transmitters and observed between 1988 and 1994. Each pair occupied a territory of 10-28 ha in rainforest; territories were exclusive and did not overlap; Kagus preferentially used certain parts of their territories according to the seasons. They formed small family groups consisting of a pair of adults, often with one chick and several young birds. Some young birds remained in their parents’ territory for several years, taking an active role in rearing the chicks. Outside the breeding season, the male and female lived separately on their common territory. One egg per clutch was laid from June to December with a peak in July; generally only one clutch per year was laid but if the clutch failed a replacement laying took place. Incubation lasted 34-35 days, with both parents taking turns to incubate the egg and later feed the chick. Parents ceased feeding chicks at about 3.5-4 months. Reproductive output was high, with a mean of 0.9 fledglings per year per pair.


© Royal Australian Ornithologists Union 1997

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