The Great Spotted Kiwi
The Kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand. It is flightless, its feathers appear as hairs.
There are three (3) species of Kiwi, one with three sub-species :
- Brown Kiwi
- North Island Brown
- South Island Brown
- Stewart Island Brown
- Great Spotted
- Little Spotted
Arthur's Pass National Park is home to the Great Spotted Kiwi. Both the Great & Little Spotted Kiwis are only found in the South Island.
Kiwis are mainly nocturnal, however can still function during the day if the need arises. It is not un-usual to see Kiwi on Stewart Island foraging for food mid-afternoon.
Kiwi eat berries, insect lavae and worms, using their long beaks to hunt down both the later.
They nest in natural or excavated holes under stones, in stream banks, between tree roots or even on open, flat ground. The female lays 1 or 2 highly-glazed, ivory white or greenish eggs which are extremely large and may weigh up to one quarter of the adult birds weight. Eggs are incubated by the male.