Fun Brown Kiwi Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Oct 20, 2022 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Northern island brown kiwi facts about the vulnerable species of New Zealand

The North Island brown kiwi is a species native to New Zealand. They are the national bird of New Zealand. They are vulnerable species majorly due to habitat loss and increased attacks by possible predators. These species of kiwi feed primarily on insects and have no instinct to fight back apart from their ability to run fast.  

They spend the day in a burrow, tree cavities, or under dense vegetation and come out only in the night. This flightless bird has a long, curved, pale gray-brown bill that it uses to hunt and has no wings.

They have sharp spines all over their body and a reddish-black to brown in color making helping them camouflage in the tropical rainforests and grasslands where they live.

Special efforts to conserve these species have been made by governmental authorities including the fact that it is illegal to own a north island brown kiwi.

If you desire to see New Zealand birds online or physically you could do so in a zoo or a conservation center. If you like this article then visit our great cormorant and Alexandrine parakeet fact articles too.

North Island Brown Kiwi Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a North Island brown kiwi?

The North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) is a bird animal and belongs to the Animalia kingdom.

What class of animal does a North Island brown kiwi belong to?

The North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) is a bird that belongs to the Aves class of species and Apterygiformes family.

How many North Island brown kiwis are there in the world?

North Island kiwis are seen primarily in New Zealand with the population status being 24,550 in number. Their populations have declined drastically in the past few months.

Where does a North Island brown kiwi live?

The North Island brown kiwi inhabits dense temperate rainforests and is seen living in only the north islands of New Zealand. These species are vulnerable to extinction and need to be preserved.

What is a North Island brown kiwi's habitat?

The North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) lives in temperate, subtropical rainforests, and grasslands. They largely feed on insects and occasionally feed on fruits or leaves if they don't find anything else to feed on.

Who do North Island brown kiwis live with?

North brown kiwis are largely solitary beings but are known to live with small clustered groups as well. They primarily inhabit regions where they can easily access food as well as seek shelter. Due to their endangered status, it's not allowed to legally own them as pets.

How long does a North Island brown kiwi live?

These kiwis have been recorded to live up until 50 years. It was recorded that the oldest living kiwi was found in Long Island and was aged 34 years. This bird was moved from Kapiti Island to Long Island.

How do they reproduce?

The brown kiwi breeds in both winter as well as summer. Males attract possible mates by following them around and grunting.

They are largely monogamous in nature and spend time with their mates only during the breeding season. Cases of females leaving males have occurred when they find a more desirable mate.

Males have the responsibility to prepare the nest or to dig a hole underground. The females then deposit up to six eggs. The incubation period lasts 70-80 days and males are responsible for sitting on the offspring during this time.

The nestling kicks its way out of the shell. Once the kiwi chicks are out of the shell they consume the egg yolk.

They follow their fathers around the territory and leave the nest in 20 days. Although they become independent after that, they still live in the parent's territory for another year before they go to build their own.

What is their conservation status?

The North Island brown kiwi is considered Vulnerable by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN).

North Island Brown Kiwi Fun Facts

What do North Island brown kiwis look like?

The North Island brown kiwi is a bird native to New Zealand. They have a reddish black and brown overall appearance. They have spiky streaks all over their body, a long pale bill, short dark legs, claws, and toes. These birds do not have wings and cannot fly. They are ground-dwelling birds.

How cute are they?

They are extremely cute to look at given that they are relatively small and unique species of birds. Although, they don't have the ability to fly and this is a unique identifying feature for these species.

How do they communicate?

Their name suggests the kind of sound they make - it's a loud 'kee-wee, kee-wee'. They communicate via a vocal communication system and have evolved a call structure to communicate to other species their own kind. They make use of body language during mating season in order to attract possible mates. They are also known to have loud calls.

How big is a North Island brown kiwi?

The North Island brown kiwi is 20-25 in (50-65 cm) tall which is five times bigger than the size of quails which are 11-12 in tall.

How fast can a North Island brown kiwi fly?

The Northern island brown kiwi cannot fly however they are born with a gift of running at 12 mph. Depending on the need, they alter their speeds. They make use of their speed to save themselves from possible predators as well as to hunt prey.

How much does a North Island brown kiwi weigh?

The North Island brown kiwi females weigh 6.2 lb (2.8 kg) and males weigh 4.9 lb (2.2 kg). Their weight depends on various factors like their diet as well as their environment.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male and female kiwi species are not addressed differently instead they are differentiated by their size. The north island brown kiwi is a nocturnal species of kiwi from New Zealand. Wetland birds are also seen in many communities in Northland Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, East Coast/ Hawkes Bay, and parts of Taranaki.

What would you call a baby North Island brown kiwi?

The baby north island brown kiwi is referred to as a chick until they grow up. They become independent however they do not leave their parent's territory up until one year post their birth even though they are independent birds.

What do they eat?

The North Island brown kiwi diet consists of insects or invertebrates. Insects including larvae, spiders, moths, crickets, centipedes as well as other non-venomous ground-dwelling insects. They are also known to consume certain fruits as well as the leaves of plants.

Are they dangerous?

They are not dangerous unless attacked. Their primary instinct is to run away from both humans as well as predators. Given the fact that they are large wild animals, it's best to keep a safe distance if you ever get the chance to see them. You could also read up more information about New Zealand birds online.

Would they make a good pet?

The kiwi population has declined drastically due to habitat loss hence it's rare to spot them easily. They are only seen in New Zealand now and it's illegal to own them as pets given that their species are at threat.

If you wish to visit them you could visit a facility in their native region and learn more about these species. Lucky for you these species are found in zoos worldwide. Ensure that you keep a safe distance from these species so they don't panic and run away instantly.

Did you know...

The north island brown kiwi holds the record for laying the largest egg to its relative body size.

Kiwis can't fly because they have heavy bones and lack wings as well. They are known to derive this body structure from ancient ancestors dating back to the time when dinosaurs existed.

The kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand. It is also the national icon and the unofficial emblem.

They derived their names from Australian soldiers from the first world war. They are also known to make sounds similar to their name 'Kee-wee'.

Why is the North Island brown kiwi endangered?

The North Island brown kiwi are endangered majorly due to habitat loss and also falling prey to dogs, ferrets, and stoats. Additionally, not many kiwi chicks make it to adulthood. Some die mid-age. Since they are largely ground-dwelling birds and don't have the ability to fly they fall prey to various predators.

Are North Island brown kiwis nocturnal?

They are nocturnal beings and stay up to protect themselves from predators who might see them as well as hunt at night. Hence they are not seen out in the open during the daytime. They are found in both native and exotic forests, scrub, and neighboring farmland but prefer subtropical and temperate forests.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Western Grebe surprising facts or red-capped manakin fun facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable kiwi coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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