In central Westland, 110 Western Wekas (Gallirallus australis australis) were marked between August 1975 and May 1978, and 38 corpses were examined. Wekas occurred throughout the study site but preferred ecotonal scrublands while avoiding dense forest. Captures fell by 50% over the study period and the number of sightings also decreased significantly. Adults were sexed by a discriminant function based on the bill measurements of dead birds, with a probability of misclassification of live adults of about 4.6%. A sex ratio biased towards males was revealed. Breeding began in late June/July when both sexes had attained maximum annual body weights and fat reserves. Home ranges were generally less than 4.5 ha. The main foods identified from birds collected during June-August and in November were fruits of indigenous forest plants, especially Coprosma spp., and plant foliage, insects and earthworms.