The small, isolated island of New Zealand is home to many unusual animals, including the kiwi. These small birds are the national bird of New Zealand and this is the only place in the world you’ll find them, outside of zoos.
Kiwis have very long beaks. The beaks have nostrils at the tip, which help the birds find food. The kiwis eat worms, spiders and other bugs. Kiwis have wings, but they are so small that the birds can’t fly. Because kiwi can’t fly, they are easily hunted by cats, stoats and dogs. Kiwis will scratch, kick or run away from predators.
Fun Facts about Kiwis for Kids
- Kiwis have a strong, musty smell. Predators can smell them from faraway.
- Kiwis have brown feathers to blend into the ground.
- These small birds are nocturnal. They sleep in burrows under the ground or old logs during the day.
- Kiwis are about the size of a chicken. They lay huge eggs, though. The eggs can weigh 1 pound each!
- Both males and females sit on the eggs. When the chicks hatch, they can hunt for their own food.
- Isolated: alone, faraway
- Predator: an animal that hunts other animals.
- Musty: stale, damp, moldy
- Huge: very large
Learn More All About Kiwis
Watch this intriguing documentary video about them:
A documentary about the nature of kiwis.
Question: Why are kiwis so unusual?
Answer: Kiwi birds have feathers that seem more like hairs. They also have a strong sense of smell, and no tail. In some ways, they seem more like a mammal than a bird.
Question: Are kiwi birds cute and shy?
Answer: Kiwi birds are actually very aggressive. They’ll attack other birds entering their territory and fight back against predators.