Kiwi Bird Facts – Habitat, Diet, Egg, Behavior & Species

Let me introduce you to the astonishing kiwi bird through these remarkable kiwi bird facts which will give you an insight about the habitat, diet, egg, behavior and species of this amazing bird. Kiwi bird also known as Apteryx scientifically, is classified as a member of the family Apterygidae and is only found in New Zealand. Being a flightless running bird, it is considered to be the smallest member of the group ratite in which the Ostrich and the Emu are by far the largest members. The kiwi bird got its name from the sound ‘kee-wee kee-wee’ usually produced by the male kiwi birds. Being endimic to New Zeland, its natural habitat can only be witnessed in the North and South Islands and Stewart Island.

Kiwi bird is an endangered specie due to habitat loss caused by deforestation, rapid urbanziation and assault from unatural predators sych as dogs etc. New Zeland has declared Kiwi bird as their national bird and has given it the status of its national emeblem. Moreover, New Zealand is investing heavily to protect this amazing bird from extinction.

Kiwi Bird Facts

Physical Features

  • Kiwi is almost the size of a chicken weighing from 4 to 9 pounds.
  • The lenght of its wings is only about 2 inches which usually remaind hidden benath its feathers. So Kiwi can be considered as a tailess and wingless bird.
  • Its body is completely covered by brownish grey down feathers.
  • A male Kiwi bird is on average 45 cm in length while their female counetparts are larger with maximum lenght of about 54 cm.
  • Kiwi has a long promiment beak about the size of one-third of its body, which it uses to find food.
  • They have strong legs with three-toed feet and claws which help them in digging burrows where they lays the egg.
  • It has very small eyes with a very weak eyesight that helps them only to see a couple of feet.
  • Though it has weak eyesight but its sense of smell is very strong due to the unique nostrils present at the end of its promienent beak. It is due to this strong sense of smell that it is capable to find food even in the dark.
kiwi bird facts - The Zoo's brown kiwi chick hatched

Kiwi Bird – The Zoo’s brown kiwi chick hatched Photo Credit: Mehgan Murphy/ Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Interesting Kiwi Bird  Facts

Kiwi bird are indeed very unique birds mostly because of its characterstics that are more similar to mammals rather than that of birds. Here some amazing kiwi bird facts about its uniqueness.

  • For instance let us consider its feathers which look thick and shaggy like the hair of mammals.
  • The skin of these birds is tough and hard to peneterate just like mammals.
  • Birds have light and porous bones but kiwis have heavy bones like mammals.
  • If we consider its claws they are more like cats rather than that of other birds.
  • The body temperature of the kiwi is about 38° C that is slighlty higher than that of humans and much lower than that of birds.

Kiwi bird is a nocturnal bird i.e. it comes out from its burrow only at night for feeding purposes. The average lifespan of a kiwi bird is about 20 to 30 years.

Kiwi Bird Habitat Facts

Kiwi birds do not build nest. They dug burrows inside the ground where they live and lay eggs. Kiwi birds are found in deep forests, woods, river lands and in bushy plains of New Zealand. Being shy by nature kiwi bird burrows are usually found in hideous places.

Kiwi Bird Diet Facts

The main deit of kiwi bird includes earthworms, insects (spiders, beetles, larvae), seeds, fruits, snails and crayfish.

Kiwi Bird Egg Facts

The Kiwi bird lays a signifincantly large egg during the months from July to Feburary. The most unique thing about this egg is that it is larger in size when compared to the body size of the kiwis. It is due to this large size of eggs that the female kiwi consumes three time more food than its normal consumption. The color of the egg is white with a little greensih in it. The male kiwi bird is responsible for the incubation of the egg till it is hatched. Unlike the eggs of the other birds, a kiwi bird egg has more yolk. The young ones stays for only 10 days in their burrow after they are hactched.

kiwi bird with egg

Kiwi Bird with it Egg

Kiwi Bird Behavior

Now let us have some kiwi bird facts about their unique behavior.

  • Kiwi birds are shy and timid by nature and prefers to stay away from human habitat.
  • The male and the female Kiwi bird mostly prefer to live together for a long time (approximately 20 years of relationship)
  • The mating season of these birds is from March to June.
  • They are very susceptible due to which they mostly hide in bushes.
  • They usually use their three-toed feet when attacking of defending themselves from enemies.

Kiwi Bird Species Facts

There are five known species of the kiwi bird namely:

Great Spotted Kiwi

  • It is the largest specie with height of 18 inches and weight of 3.3 kg
  • The male great spotted kiwis weigh about  2.4 kg
  • It is brown in color
  • The population of this specie is about 20,000 in the Northeren West Coast of New Zealand

Little Spotted Kiwi Bird

  • This specie is smaller in size i.e. about 9.8 inches and weighs upto 1.3 kg
  • The population of this specie is about 1400 in Kapiti Island.

Okarito Kiwi Bird

  • This specie is also know as Rowi and was recognized as a specie in 1994.
  • These are also small in size and have grey color
  • The unique thing aboutthis specie is that it lays up to 3 eggs in every single season and each of them is incubated in a seperate burrow.
  • These species are found in the southern part of the New Zealand.

Southern Brown Kiwi

  • Only three southern brown kiwi species are left right now.
  • This species prefer to live in elevated regions unlike the other species.
  • It is of the same size as that of the Great Spotted Kiwi.
  • It is found in the east coast of the New Zealand.

Kiwi Bird Facts Video

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