Facts about Kiwi bird

We found 26 facts about Kiwi bird

Flightless birds

Endemic to New Zealand, kiwis are the smallest known ratites in the world. Their distinctive build and atypical characteristics made them internationally famous. They are commonly referred to as “honorary mammals,” since even their gestation period resembles that of small mammals.
Kiwi bird
There are five species of kiwi from the genus Apteryx.
They include Brown kiwi, Great spotted kiwi, Little spotted kiwi, Rowi, and Tokoeka.
“Apteryx” derives from Ancient Greek, meaning “wingless.”
Kiwi birds are the smallest ratites in the world.
Their length ranges from 30 to 65 centimeters, and they weigh up to 3,5 kilograms.
Kiwi are sexually dimorphic.
Females are approximately 20% larger than males.
Their average lifespan ranges from 25 up to 50 years.
Kiwi are flightless birds.
They have vestigial wings that are hardly visible under the feathers.
They are the only birds with nostrils at the end of their beaks.
Even though their beaks reach up to 20 centimeters, they have the shortest beaks of all birds, because beaks are measured from nostrils to the end of their beak.
Their sense of sight is poor, however, their sense of smell is highly developed.
Kiwi bones are heavy, and filled with marrow.
It is quite an unusual trait for birds.
Their feathers evolved into a structure resembling hair.
Kiwis’ short, stout legs make up a third of their body.
Their diet consists mostly of grubs, worms, invertebrates, and seeds.
Occasionally, they eat fruits and amphibians.
Kiwi's closest relative is the elephant bird.
Elephant birds are extinct species from Madagascar.
Rowi is among the rarest of kiwi birds, with approximately 450 individuals alive today.
Kiwi are monogamous.
Males solicit for female attention, and once they succeed, they mate for life. However, if a female is not interested in a certain male, she will scare him off.
The breeding season of kiwi birds lasts from late winter to early summer.
They lay up to six eggs a year.
Chicks hatch after 80 days of incubation.
Kiwi’s egg is up to 20% of a female’s body weight.
It makes their eggs, in proportion to their body size, one of the largest of all birds.
Freshly hatched chicks are fully feathered.
They are also fully independent, feeding on nutritious yolk in sacks, which are attached to their bellies.
It takes approximately 10 to 14 days for a chick to forage its own food.
Kiwis are nocturnal.
It is a common trait among the endemic fauna of New Zealand.
Their natural predators are stoats, ferrets, cats, and dogs.
Because of the high death rate, the kiwi population is managed.
In unmanaged populations, their numbers decline by roughly 2% a year, mostly because of the small survival rate of kiwi chicks in the wild.
The current number of kiwi alive estimate at around 68,000 individuals.
Kiwis are listed as vulnerable.
Only little spotted kiwi are currently listed as near-threatened.
Kiwis hold cultural importance to Māori.
They form a strong spiritual association with kiwi. It has been formally recognized in the Treaty of Waitangi—the political constitution between the Māori population and New Zealand’s government, signed in 1840.
Hungry for more facts?

Similar topics

35 facts about New Zealand
35 facts about New Zealand
New Zealand is a country of records. It has the largest insects, and the smallest dolphins, and even its extinct birds were the largest. It is known w ...
23 facts about Bird of Paradise
23 facts about Bird of Paradise
One of the most unique species of bird on earth
These unusual birds were spoken of as early as the 16th century. They were admired by European sailors and merchants, to whom the natives were the fir ...
15 facts about hummingbirds
15 facts about hummingbirds
The smallest and most agile birds on Earth
Hummingbirds first appeared on Earth about 22 million years ago in South America. To this day, they live exclusively in the intertropical zone of the ...
19 facts about Great spotted woodpecker
19 facts about Great spotted woodpecker
Dendrocopos major
It rarely migrates; rather, it is a bird bound to its roost. It is not a songbird; instead, it makes its presence known by rumbling against the trunk ...
14 facts about Adelie penguin
14 facts about Adelie penguin
Pygoscelis adeliae
There are 18 species of penguins on earth. Adélie penguins belong to the medium-sized ones. They are very social animals and loyal partners. They als ...
20 facts about Southern cassowary
20 facts about Southern cassowary
Casuarius casuarius
They are very large flightless birds living in Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia. As a ratite, it is related to emu, ostriches, rheas and kiwis. ...
21 facts about Shoebill
21 facts about Shoebill
Balaeniceps rex - a bird with a prehistoric look
The Shoebill is a large African bird that lives in wetlands far from human settlements. Its characteristic large, massive beak, which resembles a wood ...
23 facts about American robin
23 facts about American robin
Common migratory songbird
There are many interesting stories about American robins. They travel a lot, sometimes pay unexpected visit to other continent and can cooperate to fe ...

Latest topics

18 facts about Orsay Museum
18 facts about Orsay Museum
France's second most visited museum after the Louvre
The Museum d'Orsay is one of the most important museums in Paris, located in a former railway station on the banks of the Seine. It specializes in Eur ...
28 facts about Neuschwanstein Castle
28 facts about Neuschwanstein Castle
Fairytale Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most famous and picturesque buildings in Germany. It is located in Bavaria and was built in the 19th century by or ...
21 facts about ballet
21 facts about ballet
History of the art of ballet through the ages
Ballet is considered an elite art form, involving much sacrifice and hard work, performed from an early age. It originated in the royal courts of Euro ...
14 facts about steel
14 facts about steel
Just a bit of carbon changes everything
Steel is a highly versatile and durable material used in a wide range of industries, including construction, automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. ...
19 facts about Sea otter
19 facts about Sea otter
Animals nearly extinct due to fur trade
With their playful personalities, adorable faces, and impressive tool skills, sea otters are among the most fascinating and charismatic animals in the ...
18 facts about Alpaca
18 facts about Alpaca
Highly intelligent, swift learning and gentle animals
Most of the world's alpaca population is found in South America, in the Altiplano region of Peru-Chile-Bolivia, where they are currently found only on ...
24 facts about Coyote
24 facts about Coyote
North America's loudest wild mammal
The coyote is an indispensable figure in the mythology of North America's indigenous peoples, as well as in most Wild West ranching and cattle movies. ...
25 facts about Galapagos Islands
25 facts about Galapagos Islands
Islands of the tortoises
The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands, islets and coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean. Since the nineteenth century it has belonge ...

Similar topics