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The Kagu

 The Kagu is a little bird that lives in the forests of New Caledonia. There is only one species of Kagu and its closest relative is the Sunbittern from Central and South America.

The Kagu is also spelt Cagou and its Latin name is Rhynochrtos jubatus (rin-ok-cri-tos joo-bat-us). They even have a nickname “ghost of the forest” because of their grey coloring.

These birds are basically flightless with the exception that they glide when needed. Their wings are a good length and have a good structure for flying; however they lack the muscles that are needed to take flight.

Kagu are very territorial birds and can have 22 to 62 acres of land in their territory. In Kagu territory, their will be plenty of invertebrates (animals with no backbone) to feed the Kagu and its mate, because the only choose areas that have their favorite foods like snails, lizards, frogs, spiders, fish and insects. Kagu are carnivores.

When Kagu are mating the male will dance in circles with his wings spread wide and his crest raised up high on his head to show all of the color! Kagu will normally stay with their mate for life, which is about 20 years of age in captivity.

Female Kagu only lay one egg a year; however, if the first should fail a second is laid. Both parents take care of the egg and the chick. The chick will stay on its parents territory for up to six years helping to guard it.

There are no natural predators for the Kagu, however, when Captain Cook discovered the island in the 1770s, he brought his pets with him and the Kagu became easy target for hunting. There are now only about 250 to 1,000 birds left in the wild.

When a Kagu hunts it will stand on one foot, much like the Flamingo, and slightly move the other foot to attract prey, then it will strike and eat its prey. If digging is needed for a meal, the Kagu will use its beak as a digging tool.

The Indians that live on the island use the Kagu for many different symbols. For example, their tribes are called Kanak after the Kagu and their headdresses look nearly identical to the crests that belong to the Kagu. The Indians also use some of the Kagu calls for war cries and dances.

As I said earlier, the Sunbittern is the closest relative of the Kagu. Well, as I was researching I came across a documentary video on the Kagu. As the guy was talking about how the Kagu ended up on the island of New Caledonia, I was scared I was going to have a heart attack from laughing!

The story went something like this (ahem), millions and millions and millions of years ago, the Kagu had wings of flight and roamed the world searching for the perfect habitat that it wanted to inhabit. Well, after searching another million years one Kagu came upon the island of New Caledonia. That Kagu decided that this would be a good home so it called all of the other Kagu to that island and they all lost their flying muscles and became flightless! So therefore, the great Heron is the ancestor of the little Kagu!

That was a pretty funny story wasn’t it? Can you belive people actually believe stories like this?

The Kagu inhabit the island of New Caledonia because God wanted and put them on that island! (If my fun has offended anyone I am sorry, but, I firmly believe in a Creator and not a random chance)

This is an essay that my sister Makenzie assigned to me about a week ago and thought I would share it (not including the apologies)! Here are some pictures of the Kagu.

References:

The Wikipedia was the most used resource for this paper, along with the Britannica Online Encyclopedia, BBC Nature website, and a few others I found on Google!

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