The national bird of New Zealand is Kiwis. When we speak of kiwi we refer to a small order of birds called paleognatas, we find five species, all of the same origin, New Zealand. Kiwis do not fly and are small, the size of a hen. The man of Malay-Polynesian lineage arrived in New Zealand in 1300 and baptized this small bird in Maori. It is the national symbol of the country
New Zealand national bird
The national bird of New Zealand is Kiwis as we have already mentioned, in 1300 the man first landed in New Zealand, an incredible green land that surprises by the presence of geisers and areas of great natural beauty. At that time the country was only inhabited by bats, some birds and reptiles. It was the settlers themselves who introduced the kiwi into the territory and although in the past the population adapted perfectly to the new environment, today it is considered a threatened bird.
There is no reliable data to indicate exactly where this bird comes from. It is believed that the national bird of New Zealand is come from the already extinct moa, even so it is not safe any of the information that has to date.
Interesting facts about Kiwis
The kiwi has wings of a very small size, only 3 centimeters and remains practically all the time attached to his body, hence it seems not to have them. On the other hand they lack glue 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 that shows a white plumage.
The legs of the kiwi are strong and muscular; represent 30% of the total body mass of this small bird. That makes him a great runner, being able to overtake the human being in a race. It measures about 40 centimeters in height and the weight is based on sex, because 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 nature thanks to their dark plumage and they usually live between 10 and 15 years.
|1||National Bird||New Zealand|
|5||Mass Male||3.3 kg (7.3 lb)|
|6||Mass Female||2.4 kg (5.3 lb)|
|7||Body Length||25 cm (9.8 in).|
As we have commented, within paleognatas birds we find the genus Apteryx, and in the 5 subspecies:
- Apteryx australis is the common kiwi.
- Apteryx mantelli is the brown kiwi of the North Island.
- Apteryx haastii is the highest speckled kiwi.
- Apteryx owenii is the minor speckled kiwi.
- Apteryx rowi is the Rowi or kiwi spotted Okarito.
The kiwi adapts perfectly to subtropical areas. We speak of pine plantations, temperate forests or grasslands. It can also grow in bush areas, provided they are warm. The survival of the kiwi will depend on the kiwi’s ability to protect him and dodge agilas, birds and hawks.
For this reason we believe that this little bird acquired nocturnal habits, a more protection strategy. The kiwi uses the beak to grab a branch and bake its adversaries; it is an aggressive bird that will courageously defend its life and that of its chicks. It is impossible to catch a wild kiwi without receiving deep cuts or attacks with the beak. Biologists emphasize its protection capacity as well as the strong sounds it emits for its small size.
The adorable kiwi is a kind of monogamous bird that chooses a couple for life. Once together, they create their nests in subterranean spaces resembling the burrows of rodents or lagomorphs. After fertilization, the female lays 2 unique eggs at each set, making between 2 and 3 sets a year although it is the male that sips them for about 10 weeks.
The pups leave the nest to the week of life with an extraordinary smell that allows them to find food without any problem.
Common foods in the kiwi diet are beetles, cockroaches, ants, other insects, frogs, snails and even wild berries.
Do you know Godwit (Limosa limosa) is the national bird of Netherlands?
There are few kiwi chicks that reach sexual maturity, in percentages we speak of 16%, a very poor and devastating number. More than half die from the attacks of the natural predators, to which are added cats and ermine. The habitat of the kiwi has been declining for some time because deforestation of its territory has reduced its population by 86%.
For that reason, since 1896 the kiwi is legally protected as well as the forests in which it lives, being declared natural parks. It takes a great task on the part of biologists and volunteers in the recovery of this bird in New Zealand because otherwise it will be extinguished like many other species. In addition, we must know that recovery parks have developed captive communities to ensure continuity, at least outside their natural environment.