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Brown Kiwi

About Brown Kiwi

Plump, flightless bird with thin feathers which are more like hair. This bird has no wings or tail. Long, flexible bill with nostrils near tip and large, sensitive whiskers around base. Feathers and legs are brownish; bill yellowish to horn colored; eyes are very small.

They breed in the winter. They make their nest in a hollow, lined or unlined with leaves and leaf mold, in a burrow, under tree roots or in a hollow log. The female will usually lay 1 very large white egg that is a quarter of her own weight that has a very large yolk. The male incubates the egg for 65-85 days. Kiwis live in pairs.

This nocturnal bird behaves more like a mammal than a bird. The Kiwi will sniff out its prey through the leaf litter and soil like a badger, looking for worms, grubs and other prey. With its hair-like feathers it even looks like a mammal. Such a bird could only have evolved in a land such as New Zealand, where there are no native ground-living mammals.

The Kiwi is equipped with a well developed sense of smell. something that is unique among birds. Its nostrils are at the end of its long, probing bill, so it can detect underground prey by scent as well as touch. It has small eyes, which is unusual for a nocturnal bird, but since it lives in a densely covered world, it dosen’t need to see well to be able to feed.