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Tokoeka (Apteryx australis), Stewart Island, New ZealandNorth Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli)brown kiwi (Apteryx australis)
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Kiwi Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Apteryx australis
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
25cm - 45cm (9.8in - 17in)
The measurement from one wing tip to the other
40cm - 60cm (15.7in - 23.6in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
1.3kg - 3.3kg (2.6lbs - 7.3lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
19kph (12mph)
How long the animal lives for
8 - 12 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Grey, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Forests and dense woodland
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laid at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Worms, Spiders, Insects, Fruit
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Foxes, Dogs, Cats
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Round body and long, sharp and straight beaks

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Kiwi Location

Map of Kiwi Locations
Map of Oceania


The kiwi is a brown, fuzzy, flightless bird native to the forests and jungles of New Zealand. In recent years the kiwi has become endangered, mainly due to introduced predators like dogs, cats, rats, ferrets and weasels which hunt the kiwi and eat its eggs. The kiwi is almost helpless against these exotic threats and there are many support organizations for kiwis which run conservation projects to try and protect the remaining kiwi population. The largest of these kiwi conservation projects is run by the Bank of New Zealand.

There are many different species of kiwi, but all of them can only be found inhabiting the forests of New Zealand. It is believed that the incredible diversity of this island nation is due to its early separation from Australia and the rest of the continents, millions of years ago, by way of tectonic plate shifting.

The kiwi is the national bird and icon of New Zealand. In fact, the native people of New Zealand are often also called Kiwis. The kiwi also appears on many flags and symbols across the islands.

The eggs of the kiwi weigh about one pound which is 450g. The beak of the kiwi is about the size of one third of the kiwi's body. The kiwi uses its long beak to rummage through the foliage on the ground in search of food.

Kiwis are omnivorous animals and eat a variety of both plants and animals. The kiwi mainly hunts out worms, insects and spiders but also eats fruits and berries, generally those that have fallen to the forest floor.

The kiwi is thought to be related to the ostrich and the emu, making the kiwi the smallest member of this family of birds. Like it's larger cousins, the kiwi is unable to fly due to its small wing span and large weight. The kiwi therefore spends its life foraging on the forest floor.

Although kiwis are generally solitary animals, kiwis are known to live in pairs for parts of their lives. These kiwi couples mate only with each other and the female kiwi is known to be larger than the male kiwi, meaning the female kiwi is generally the dominant bird.

Before the introduction of animals such as cats and dogs, kiwis roamed New Zealand in great numbers as there were no natural predators there besides humans. It is since humans settled there with their pets that the kiwi numbers have rapidly declined. Today there are believed to only around 200 kiwis left in the wild.

Kiwis are very nomadic birds which means that they are known to move around a great deal rather than staying in one place. Kiwis dig burrows during the day which they sleep in at night and then move onto another spot and build a new burrow the next day. The only exception to this is when the kiwi is nesting to lay its eggs. The female kiwi lays an average of five eggs per clutch which take nearly 3 months to hatch. The male kiwi is the one who incubates the eggs for most of the time.

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First Published: 18th November 2008, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

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2. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Nov 2008]
3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Nov 2008]