Meet the elusive kiwi! (the bird, not the people)
Once critically endangered due to the introduction of many foreign predators, bringing the kiwi back from the brink of extinction has been an on-going project for the Department of Conservation, along with numerous other wildlife sanctuaries and charities across New Zealand. While still very much at risk, the kiwi bird is slowly beginning to flourish once more in small protected areas, as dedicated conservation efforts start to pay off.
This quirky creature is a favourite amongst visitors to the country, with its long beak, soft, fluffy feathers and shy nature, learn more about this elusive bird species with our favourite kiwi facts!
1. They can’t fly!
The kiwi is a flightless bird, spending its days scratching through the undergrowth of native forest and bush – ironically, the kiwi is also featured on the logo for the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
2. They have an amazing sense of smell
The kiwi is the only bird in the world that has nostrils at the end of its beak. They use their long beak and incredible sense of smell is for sniffing through the soil and ground cover for food.
3. They are romantic (sort of)
Once two kiwis pair for mating, they will generally stay together as a monogamous couple. Kiwi partnerships have been known to last for more than 20 years!
4. They like a varied diet
Kiwis are omnivores, with their diets ranging from location to location, the typical kiwi enjoys lunching on a variety of different insects and worms with some native berries and seeds.
5. Females lay enormous eggs!
A female kiwi will lay eggs that are approximately 20% of her body size! That is one big egg considering that human babies are just 5% of an adult females body size.
Where can you see the kiwi?
Check out these great activities across the country for the chance to see a kiwi bird, and to learn more about the conservation efforts to protect them.
Zealandia - Wellington
Rainbow Springs - Rotoura
Kiwi Birdlife Park - Queenstown
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve - Christchurch