Family Megapodes (Megapodiidae)

Endangered

Tongan Scrubfowl (Megapodius pritchardii)


Taxonomy

French: Mégapode de Pritchard German: Pritchard-Großfußhuhn Spanish: Talégalo de las Tonga
Other common names: Polynesian Scrubfowl, Polynesian Megapode, Tongan Megapode, Niuafoou Scrubfowl
Taxonomy:

Megapodius Pritchardii

G. R. Gray

, 1864,

Niuafo’ou, Tonga

.

Monotypic.

Distribution:

Niuafo’ou I (NW Tonga); formerly on Niue#R. Introduced to Tafahi I (NE Tonga), but has apparently died out there; recently introduced to Late I and Fonualei I (NC Tonga).

Descriptive notes

c. 28–35 cm; male 315–385 g, female 310–500 g. Generally dark slaty grey, with short whitish crest; lower back, rump and wings washed reddish brown; white... read more

Voice

Trisyllabic whistle “kway-kwee-krrrr” from male, usually uttered in duet with female,... read more

Habitat

Forages mainly in forested areas or thickets. On Niuafo’ou found in broadleaf forest in all... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly animal food. Prey identified by field observation included 53% insects, 25% land snails, 13% centipedes and 9% worms; most of prey... read more

Breeding

Apparently all year, with peak in Apr–May, and fewest in Jan/Feb. Apparently monogamous and territorial (0·84 ha on average),... read more

Movements

Presumably sedentary. Only evidence of displacement is presence of birds breeding on island in... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Mace Lande: Endangered. Total population numbers only 680–970 mature individuals; considered to be declining. In 1976, estimated 820 birds in study area of... read more

Recommended citation

Elliott, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Tongan Scrubfowl (Megapodius pritchardii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53258 on 15 October 2018).