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Kiwi

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This article is about the bird. For the fruit, see Kiwifruit
Kiwi
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Scientific Classification
Species
  • A. australis (Tokoeka)
  • A. haastii (Great Spotted Kiwi)
  • A. mantelli (North Island Brown Kiwi)
  • A. owenii (Little Spotted Kiwi)
  • A. rowi (Okarito Brown Kiwi)
Image Description
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The kiwi is a flightless bird belonging to a diverse order commonly known as ratites. They are native to and the national symbol of New Zealand. Their most outstanding characteristic is their long beak that is used for eating. They are named after their nocturnal call which sound like 'kiwi kiwi'.[1] Most of them are endangered now and under active recovery efforts.[2]

Anatomy

This is a shot of the kiwi bird, it has a really long beak.

Length: Male - 45cm, Female - 50cm
Weight: Male - 2.4kg, Female - 3.3kg

The Kiwi bird is a It is the size of a large chicken and weighs between three and nine pounds. The females are about one third bigger than the males. It has short stout legs, and coarse dark brown feather that hide the rudimentary wings. It lacks wing and tail plumes and walks with a rolling gait. It's the only bird whose nostrils(at the lower end) open at the tip of the bill, which is 6 inches long and curved.

The Kiwi has well-developed senses of smell [3] and hearing  and also have coarse, bristly, hair-like feathers, and a long beak that is one-third the length of its body; but they have no tail. Its face is covered with whiskers and bones that contain marrow instead of air sacs.

The body temperature of the Kiwi is 37-38C.[4]

Reproduction

The breeding season begins in June and ends in March. Males reach sexual maturity at 18 moths in captivity, while females are able to lay eggs after three years.[5] In the wild, sexual maturity for both sexes is between ages three and five. The pair mates about two to three times during peak activity. The gestation period is about a month. Females don't eat during this period, as the eggs will take up a fourth of a Kiwi's body mass.

The Kiwi puts a lot of time and energy into laying eggs. It takes more time than actually caring for their chicks. The large egg takes an unusually long time to hatch, between 65 and 90 days. The female Kiwi can lay more than 100 eggs in its life. The male alone incubates the egg. The egg is up to 65% yolk by volume and almost twice of most birds' eggs. Just before the hatches, the chick absorbs its yolk and it emerges fully feathered. After that the parents leave the chick to fend for itself. The young bird stays in the area where it hatched for 2-3 years.[6]

Ecology

A kiwi bird with its bones.
The Kiwi digs burrows in which it roosts and nests, and also digs up the ground with its long beak to eat worms. Its eyes are almost blind. During the day, it can see only two feet and during the night, it can see about like six feet, so it's hard to hunt worms. Kiwis are often seen in daylight.

Most Kiwi birds feed on worms, beetles, cicada, crickets, flies, weta, spiders, caterpillars, slugs,snails, and grubs. Sometimes they eat seeds, berries, and leaves.

The Kiwis are related to the Ostrich of Africa, the Emu of Australia and the now-extinct Moa of New Zealand.

They live in pairs and mate for life, sometimes as long as 30 years. Most of the Kiwis can live up to 40 years. [7]

Five species of Kiwi

New Zealand has five species of Kiwi birds. There are Brown Kiwi, Tokoeka, Rowi, Great spotted Kiwi, and Little spotted kiwi. The Brown Kiwi birds have reddish brown feathers. These species were widespread in lowland but now moved to Northland. There are also a lot of them in the Coromandel. Tokoekas are larger than the brown kiwi and more softer. Most of them live in Fiordland. Rowis are the one of the species of Kiwi birds that are slightly smaller. There are a few of them living in Westland. The Great spotted Kiwis are the largest Kiwi, almost 45 cm. They live in the subalpine area and have grey feathers which are mottled. The Little spotted Kiwi is at 25 cm, and small. They were widespread throughout New Zealand, but now moved to near Wellington. [8] [9]

Gallery

References