Apteryx australis Shaw and Nodder, 1813, Dusky Sound, South Island, New Zealand.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Common kiwi; French: Kiwi austral; German: Streifenkiwi; Spanish: Kiwi Comъn.
18–22 in (45–55 cm); female: 4.6–8.5 lb (2.1–3.9 kg), male: 3.6–6.1 lb (1.6–2.8 kg). Medium-sized, rotund, flightless bird, with no tail. Body cone-shaped, tapering to a small head with a long, slightly down-curved bill. Streaked rufous plumage, shaggy and hair-like, obscuring short wings that end in a claw. Female larger than male.
On North Island mainly in Northland and Taranaki, although still occurs in small pockets elsewhere. On South Island mainly in Fiordland, with small populations in Westland. Widespread on Stewart Island.
Subtropical and temperate forests and shrublands. Most common in dense forest but able to maintain populations in regenerating bush, pasture, and pine forest.
Nocturnal, usually seen alone; roosts in dens or burrows by day. The name “kiwi” comes from the sound of one whistled call that has also been rendered as “ah-eel”. Males call most often, with duets between partnered males and females at times.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
The brown kiwi feeds on soil invertebrates such as earthworms, beetle larvae, snails, spiders, centipedes, and orthoptera. It uses its sense of smell to find food, probing ceaselessly into the ground, leaving characteristic cone-shaped holes in the substrate.
Live as monogamous pairs in territories of 12–106 acres (5–43 ha), depending on location. Nests are made in burrows, sheltered places, and beneath thick vegetation. The female lays one or two large eggs that the male incubates for up to 90 days. The young hatch in adult plumage and, after a few days in the nest, come out to feed independently. There is little evidence of parental care, but the chick may be found near its parents for up to a year.
Not threatened. Although the brown kiwi is the most common of the group, it suffers from attacks by dogs and is often caught in traps set for the introduced possum. Large populations live in Northland and on Stewart Island, but elsewhere fragmentation has reduced population sizes below sustainable levels.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
The Maori formerly ate the birds and made cloaks from their skins. Apart from being New Zealand’s national bird, the species is of no economic
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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