Kiwi

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Kiwi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Struthioniformes
Family: Apterygidae
G.R. Gray, 1840
Genus: Apteryx
Shaw, 1813

The Kiwi is a bird from New Zealand. They are the genus Apteryx of the family Apterygidae. There are several species and sub-species of kiwi. The kiwi is a symbol for New Zealand. People from New Zealand are nicknamed "Kiwis".

Appearance[change | change source]

They have a long beak and brown feathers. The feathers look like fur. Kiwis cannot fly, and their wings are so small that they cannot usually be seen. Kiwis cannot see very well, but they can hear very well.

Life[change | change source]

Kiwis are night (nocturnal) birds. They mostly eat invertebrates, like worms and insects. Kiwis keep a territory where they live alone or with their mate. In their territory they build several small caves where they sleep, or lay their eggs. Kiwis are monogamous; the male and female stay together until one of them dies. The male and female live in the same territory and raise their children together. Female kiwis lay 1-3 eggs. Compared to the size of the parent, the eggs are the largest of any bird species. Kiwis are mature when they are 2 years old, and they can live more than 20 years. One kiwi kept in a zoo even reached 35 years old.

Eggs[change | change source]

The female brown Kiwi lays enormous eggs, which are almost one-sixth of her own body weight. These eggs take 11 weeks to incubate, the longest time for any bird. In comparison, Yellow-breasted Chats' eggs take only 11 days, and chickens' eggs take 21 days.[1]

Habitat[change | change source]

Kiwi prefer to live in burrows they make in forested areas. They make their burrows in the ground like rabbits, or in between the roots of trees or in places such as hollow logs. Kiwi line their burrows with leaves to make them more comfortable and warm. Sometimes they hide the entrance to their burrows using piles of twigs. Kiwis may have more than ten different burrows in their territory and will swap between them sometimes. [2]

Threats[change | change source]

Kiwis are threatened by many mammals. Stoats are the main threat for the Kiwi chicks. Ferrets and dogs kill adult Kiwis.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Brinkley, Edward S. Brinkley (2003). "Reader's Digest Pathfinders" Creatures of the Air and Sea. Singapore: Reader's Digest Children's Books. pp. 23. ISBN 0-7944-0353-0.
  2. Jones, J., Harcourt, B., & World Wide Fund for Nature New Zealand. (1997). Little spotted kiwi. Auckland, N.Z: Heinemann Education.
  3. McLennan and others (1996). "Role of predation in the decline of kiwi, Apteryx spp., in New Zealand" (PDF). New Zealand Journal of Ecology (New Zealand Ecological Society) 20 (1): 27–35. http://newzealandecology.org/nzje/free_issues/NZJEcol20_1_27.pdf.