What does the kiwi bird look like if the fruit is named after it? The kiwi bird looks very unusual. When you look at this creature, you don't know whether it is a bird or a beast. After all, a kiwi has no wings or tail, and its feathers are more like a thick wool. In addition, the kiwi bird has some characteristics of mammals, such as sensitive bristles (vibrissae) at the base of its beak. However, the kiwi is a bird that simply does not fly. The kiwi bird looks small and is no larger than the average chicken. The females are larger than the males. The kiwi has a pear-shaped body, a small head, and a short neck. The kiwi bird weighs between 1.5 and 4 kilograms. The kiwi bird looks interesting. It has strong legs and a narrow, long beak with nostrils at the tip. This significantly distinguishes the kiwi from other birds, which have nostrils at the base of the beak.
The kiwi's beak is very flexible and thin and is about 12 cm long for females and about 10 cm for males. Although it seems as if this bird has no wings, it does have them. The wings of the kiwi bird are simply undeveloped and are only 5 cm long. These are the smallest wings of all living birds, and under the thick plumage of the kiwi, they are invisible. Kiwi bird looks fluffy, because its body is densely covered with soft feathers of gray or brown color. The kiwi has short, strong legs with sharp claws. The legs of this bird from New Zealand are very strong and weigh about 1/3 of its body weight. The kiwi bird differs from other birds not only in appearance, but also in its behavior. Kiwi has a habit of hiding its beak under its wing while resting, which is common to many birds. But the most unusual thing is that this creature combines features of a bird and a mammal at the same time. A kiwi has a body temperature of 38°C, which is closer to that of mammals and lower than that of other birds. The kiwi also has a peculiar skeletal structure, which is why it has even been nicknamed "the honorary mammal. For quite a long time it was assumed that the nearest relative of the kiwi was the extinct moa bird. But recent DNA studies have shown that the closest relative of the kiwi is the extinct elephant bird. Kiwis have very small eyes, so they can't boast sharp eyesight and mainly rely on developed hearing and excellent sense of smell.
But kiwis are very vulnerable in today's environment, mostly because of predators, as they can easily find kiwis by their scent. This is because kiwi feathers have a specific and quite strong smell, reminiscent of mushroom. Today there are 5 kinds of kiwi bird: the common kiwi, the northern brown kiwi, the big gray kiwi, the little gray kiwi and the roovi kiwi. Where does the kiwi bird live? The kiwi bird is endemic to New Zealand. This means that the kiwi bird is found only in this place and nowhere else on the planet. The kiwi bird lives in different parts of New Zealand, depending on the species. The northern kiwi lives on the North Island. The common kiwi, great gray kiwi, and roovi inhabit the South Island. The lesser gray kiwi lives only on Kapiti Island. The kiwi bird lives in damp evergreen forests, because the structure of its legs allows it not to get boggy in the swampy ground.
How does the New Zealand bird live? This bird from New Zealand is very cautious and secretive, so it is quite difficult to meet it. In addition, the kiwi bird leads a nocturnal lifestyle. During the day, the kiwi bird lives hiding in hollows or under tree roots, as well as in dug holes. Curiously, each kiwi species has its own style of burrowing. Some have an entire maze with several exits, while others have a simple burrow with only one exit. The most complex burrows are built by the big gray kiwi. Of course, this bird will not be able to surpass such an expert as a badger in burrow construction. The kiwi bird lives having up to 50 burrows on its territory to change them every day. The kiwi bird begins to live in a dug hole only after a few weeks. It does this so that during this time grass and moss can grow and camouflage the entrance to the burrow. But Kiwis can also camouflage the entrance to their nest with leaves and twigs on their own.
During the day, Kiwis only come out of their shelters in case of danger. Although Kiwis are calm during the day, they become aggressive at night. Kiwis are territorial birds that jealously defend their nesting area. The kiwi's strong legs and sharp beak are dangerous weapons, so skirmishes between birds may well be fatal. But this is rare. Only after natural death does the nesting plot change its owner. Birds mark the borders of their territory with cries that can be heard several kilometers away at night. It is wrong to think that kiwis are sluggish and slow birds. The kiwi bird is very agile and goes around the entire nesting area during the night.