January 2, 2017 – Spotless Crake, Sooty Rail, Pūweto, Puweto, or Putoto (Porzana tabuensis)
These small, secretive rails are found in New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, New Guinea, and many nearby Pacific islands. Omnivores, they eat the seeds, fruit, and leaves of aquatic plants, as well as various invertebrates, including mollusks, crustaceans, worms, snails, and insects. They build nests, and often a few nest-like platforms, from sedges and grasses. Monogamous pairs incubate the eggs and care for the chicks, which are able to capture live prey by the time they are three days old. Though they are classified as a species of Least Concern, they are threatened by habitat loss and possibly predation in parts of their range.