KIWI - Origin, behavior and photos and videos!

Kiwi: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. When we talk about the Kiwi, we are referring to a small order of birds...

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When we talk about the Kiwi, we refer to a small order of birds called paleognatas, there are five species, all of the same origin, New Zealand. Kiwis are flightless and small, about the size of a hen. The origin of the name of this bird is Maori and it is the national symbol of New Zealand.


  • Oceania
  • Australia


In 1300, Man landed for the first time in New Zealand, an incredible green land that surprises with the presence of geysers and areas of great natural beauty.At that time, the country was inhabited only by bats, a few birds and reptiles. It was the Polynesian settlers themselves who introduced the kiwi to the territory and although in the past the population adapted perfectly to the new environment, today it is considered an endangered species.

There is no reliable data to indicate exactly where this bird came from. Their ancestor is believed to be the now extinct moa, but none of the information available to date is certain.

Physical appearance

The kiwi has very small wings, they are only 3 centimeters long, and they stay attached to its body almost all the time, which is why it seems to have none. On the other hand, they lack a tail and their plumage gives the appearance of hair. Although in general we speak of a brown bird, we can affirm the existence of the white kiwi, which has white plumage.

The legs of the kiwi are strong and muscular, representing 30% of the total body mass of this small bird. This makes him a great runner, capable of overtaking humans in a race. It measures about 40 centimeters and its weight depends on its sex, since unlike other species, in this case the female weighs about 2.8 or 3 kilograms, while the male barely reaches 2.2 kilograms. They camouflage quite well in the wild with their dark plumage and typically live between 10 and 15 years.

As we mentioned, among the paleognata birds we find the genus Apteryx, and within it the 5 subspecies:

  • Apteryx australis is the common kiwi.
  • Apteryx mantelli is the North Island brown kiwi.
  • Apteryx haastii is the largest spotted kiwi.
  • Apteryx owenii is the smallest spotted kiwi.
  • Apteryx rowi is the Rowi or Okarito spotted kiwifruit.


The kiwi adapts perfectly to subtropical areas, in pine plantations, temperate forests or grasslands. It can also live in bush areas, as long as these are warm.


The kiwi's survival will depend on its ability to protect itself and dodge agile birds and hawks.

That's why we think this little bird has acquired nocturnal habits, an additional protective strategy. The kiwi uses its beak to cling to a branch and kick its opponents. It is an aggressive bird that will bravely defend its life and that of its chicks. It is impossible to catch a wild kiwi without receiving deep slashes or beak attacks.

Biologists highlight its ability to protect itself as well as the loud sounds it emits for its small size.


The adorable kiwi is a kind of monogamous bird that chooses a partner for life. Once together, they create their nests in underground spaces that look like rodent or lagomorph burrows. After fertilization, the female only lays 2 eggs per clutch, which makes between 2 and 3 clutches per year, although it is the male who hatches them for about 10 weeks.

The little ones leave the nest after a week of life with an extraordinary sense of smell that allows them to find food without any problem.


The most common foods in the kiwifruit diet are beetles, cockroaches, ants, other insects, frogs, snails, and even wild berries.


Few kiwi chicks reach sexual maturity, in percentage we are talking about 16%, a very poor and sad figure.More than half of them die from attacks by natural predators, in addition to cats and swallows. The kiwi's habitat has been in decline for some time, as deforestation of its territory has reduced its population by 86%.

That's why, since 1896, the kiwi has been legally protected, as well as the forests in which it lives, being declared natural parks. A great task is required of biologists and volunteers for the recovery of this bird in New Zealand, because otherwise it will disappear like many other species. Additionally, we should be aware that recovery parks have developed communities of captive specimens to provide continuity, at least, outside of their natural environment.

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