Story: Land birds – overview

North Island brown kiwi

North Island brown kiwi are found in some North Island forests. While the feathers of flying birds are flattened and smoothed for aerodynamic effect, kiwi feathers are hair-like and fluffed up for better insulation. Kiwi have tiny wings, and get about on muscular legs that have strong, heavy bones. Their long bills have nostrils near the tip to sniff out grubs and worms deep in soil and leaf litter. Cat-like whiskers help them feel their way in the dark.

Listen to the call of a pair of North Island brown kiwi – the shrill male first, then the hoarser female.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10029431
Photograph by Rod Morris

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Sound file from Birds of New Zealand. Compact disc. © Viking Sevenseas NZ, 1980 (available from PO Box 152, Paraparaumu). All rights reserved.

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How to cite this page:

Kerry-Jayne Wilson, 'Land birds – overview - Weird and wonderful birds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/natural-sounds/9881/north-island-brown-kiwi (accessed 9 April 2020)

Story by Kerry-Jayne Wilson, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 20 Apr 2015