BROWN KIWI

Conservation Status: Serious Decline (DoC)

  • The female is bigger than the male.
  • They are flightless, burrow in the ground and are mainly nocturnal.
  • Kiwi eggs are huge in comparison to other birds of a similar size.  The egg is 15% of the female’s body weight (compared to 2% in the ostrich). 
  • Kiwi have nostrils on their end of their beaks to help them locate their food by smell as they don’t have very good eyesight.
  • The feathers on a kiwi are more like hair than feathers.
  • Kiwi have short but powerful legs and sharp claws. Kiwi defend their territories fiercely and use their legs and claws to fight off other kiwi who come into their area.
  • Kiwi can live up to 40 years old
  • Kiwi eat mainly earthworms, grubs, forest invertebrates and fallen fruits
  • One of the biggest threats to adult kiwi is people letting their dogs roam free through the bush. So next time you’re going for a bush walk – make sure your dog is kept on a leash.
  • Wellington Zoo raised 52 kiwi chicks from 1981 – 1999 and has recently established a new breeding pair in the hope that more chicks will be born here.