Name – Kiwi
Scientific Name : Apteryx
Type : Birds
Age : 25 and 50 years
Diet : Omnivore
Length : 35 to 45 cm
Weight : 0.8 to 1.9 kg
Colour : grey-brown plumage with lighter bands
Skin Type : Feathers
Wingspan : 1 inch per wing
Current Population : 68000
Current Population Trend : Decreasing
Native : New Zealand
Main Prey : Worms, Spiders, Insects, Fruit
Habitat : Forests and dense woodland
Predators : Foxes, Dogs, Cats
Favourite Food : Worms
· A WEEK, predators kill an average of 27 kiwi. That equates to a population loss of approximately 1,400 kiwis per year (or 2 percent). At this point, kiwi will become extinct on the mainland within our lifetime. About a century ago, kiwi numbered in the millions.
· Apteryx, which means “wingless,” is the Latin genus name for kiwi. They are part of the ratites, an ancient group of flightless creatures.
· Since the habits and physical features of the kiwi are so similar to those of mammals, the bird is often referred to as an official mammal. It has hair-like feathers, nostrils at the tip of its beak, and a massive egg.
· The vestigial wings are concealed within the plumage; the nostrils are at the tip (rather than the base) of the long, flexible bill; the feathers, which lack aftershafts, are smooth and hairlike; the legs are stout and muscular; and each of the four toes has a broad claw.
· In full sunlight, the eyes are narrow and inefficient, the ear openings are wide and well built, and very long bristles (possibly tactile) appear at the base of the bill.
· While they sometimes fly with other members of their genus, the kiwi is a strongly aggressive bird that keeps a firm hold on its territory and does not tolerate trespassers easily. If another bird does not heed its alarm tone, it will return to attacking with its feet.
· The kiwis have a special mating rite every year between March and June. Since calling out to each other, the couple meets in the nesting burrow every three days, and males emit a distinct purring sound when copulating. The kiwi breeds in near mating pairs that normally marry for life before a more attractive partner appears.
· The chicks are completely autonomous and feathered as they emerge from the egg by knocking off the shell. Since the parents play only a small role in feeding their young, the chicks must survive their first 10 days by feeding on the yolk sac. To compete with the moist underground burrows, the eggs are also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.