Great Spotted Kiwi

Interesting Facts

Why is the Great Spotted Kiwi so interesting?

* The Great Spotted Kiwi is the national symbol for New Zealand.

* In some ways, the Great Spotted Kiwi is more like a mammal than a bird.

* It has the largest egg-to-body weight ratios of any bird.

* Kiwis mate for life.

* The females are larger then males.

* The Great Spotted Kiwi is listed under "vulnerable" on the endangered species list.

* Originally, there were no predators of the Great Spotted Kiwi in New Zealand, but they have been introduced over time.

* Great Spotted Kiwis cannot fly, partially because they did not originally need to be able to fly away from predators.

* The Great Spotted Kiwi is the largest of the Kiwi species, so they can protect themselves against predators the best.

* They are the only known birds with nostrils at the end of their beaks.

* There is a movement in New Zealand to save the Kiwis.

* They have a lower body temperature than most birds.

* Great Spotted Kiwis are suprisingly fast.

* Kiwis have a distinct call. The male has a loud repetitive whistle of 10-20 notes, and the female has a coarse rasping whistle.

The Maori people have legends which hold the Kiwi as the eldest child of the forest god, Tane Mahuta. According to Maori tradition, this would make the Kiwi our elder sibling.

* The Kiwi feather cload, or kahukiwi, is often worn by people of high rank or birth at marriages, funerals, or other significant events. Even though they are endangered, the feathers of dead Kiwi are still gathered to keep this tradition going

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Last updated April 25th, 2008