The Kiwi is a very tiny member of an ancient order of birds which are flightless.
The kiwi, as difficult as it is to believe, is a member of a family we all know well.
The ostrich and emus are related to this tiny bird.
The Kiwi got its name from the Maori tribes of New Zealand, who called it kiwi because of its very shrill high pitched call.
It is about the size of a chicken and has very short stocky legs.
The kiwi is most closely related to the moa bird, which is now extinct.
The Kiwi sports a very dark plumage that hides the vestiges that it keeps from where its ancestors had wings.
It does not have wing or tail feathers and walks very strangely, as if it is rolling.
The Kiwi has another strange characteristic. It is the only bird alive who has nostrils at the very end of its bill, which is over six inches long.
Kiwis are nocturnal, hiding in dense brush during the day and foraging for their food at night.
They eat grubs, worms, and very small insects.
Kiwi’s daytime eyesight is very poor, and the long bristly things at the end of their bill are believed to be tactile organs which help them in their hunting.
Kiwis nest under ground in burrows and the male will sit on the nest to incubate the eggs.
There is one or two of them, which are chalky white in color and are about a pound each in weight. They will take from two months up to two and one half months to hatch.
The kiwi bird is the national symbol of New Zealand and is shown on their coins, stamps and on variously other products from New Zealand.
New Zealand troops are popularly called kiwis.