Welcome to New Zealand






New Zealand Kiwi Bird


New Zealand Kiwi Bird

Kiwi Bird New Zealand

Belonging to the order Apterygiformes-Ratitae, the kiwi bird can be found only in New Zealand. Although largely a bird of the native forests of New Zealand, kiwis are also found in native grasslands and scrubs. Because of the fact that the kiwi is a secretive, semi-nocturnal bird, not many New Zealanders have spotted the country’s national bird in its natural habitat. The sole survivor of its ancient bird order, the kiwi has outlived the currently extinct moa. Approximately as big as a domestic chicken, the flightless kiwi bird has bristly, coarse, feathers that resemble hair. Males are smaller than females.


Kiwis mature to approximately the size of a regular chicken and are between 3 and 9 lbs. in weight. They are tailless and have small 2-inch wings which are useless for all purposes which are practical. Even though its appearance is awkward, a kiwi can in fact outrun a human and have endeavored to survive due to their preparedness and their 3-toed, sharp feet, which make it possible for them to kick and lacerate a foe.

The long thin bill of the kiwi has nostrils at its lower end. With the use of its flexible bill and superior sense of smell, the kiwi feats worms, grubs, and insects as well as leaves, seeds, and berries.

There are 5 species of New Zealand kiwi and 3 of these are closely linked: Little Spotted Kiwi, Brown Kiwi, and Great Spotted Kiwi.
The main nesting season is from the latter part of winter to early summer. Nests are made under the roots of trees, in hollow logs, in natural burrows or holes dug mostly by the male. The majority of clutches have one or a couple of eggs. Eggs are colored greenish white or ivory and are quite smooth. Proportionately, kiwi eggs are larger in relation to the average size of the mother kiwi when compared with the eggs of other bird species. A kiwi egg can weigh as much as one-quarter as that of its mother.


After the laying of the first egg, the kiwi male becomes responsible for incubation and the maintenance of the nest. Normally, incubation takes about 11 weeks but in the event that the female comes back to lay one more egg, the male has to remain on the clutch for an even longer time. Occasionally leaving the nest, the weight of the male may decrease by as much as one third.

Before the arrival to New Zealand of the Maori, the kiwi had no natural enemies. Even though the Maori cherished the feathers of the kiwi for manufacturing cloaks, the number of kiwis which were killed by the Maori was most likely insignificant.

It was during the last part of previous century that several thousands of kiwis were trapped by colonial Europeans for museums, zoos, and personal collections. Imported animals which ate kiwi, bush clearing, traps for opossums, and motor vehicles have all caused to the decline in the population of the kiwi.

New Zealand Kiwi Bird


Nevertheless, the kiwi has done significantly when compared with other flightless birds such as the Takahe and Kakapo. This bird’s survival is assured as long as appropriate habitat is made available, and the ones that are striving are left undisturbed.



Copyrights for all pictures on this site, it is and remains the property of www.new-zealand-nz.net

   2006 - 2012 www.new-zealand-nz.net