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Kiwi Birds – Unique Birds That Can’t Fly


The kiwi birds are some interesting little fellows. Probably the most common things people know about them is that they live in New Zealand and that they can’t fly. However, this is only the beginning. They have lots of traits which you won’t find in any other species. There are 5 kiwi species and most of them are endangered.

They Can’t Fly

Kiwis live in New Zealand only and they belong to the family of ratites, where you will also find emus and ostriches. They are the smallest members of this group. In comparison, their size resembles that of a chicken. Even though many people think it was related to the moa species (which is not extinct), it’s in fact more closely related to the elephant birds in Madagascar.

One hypothesis claims that the ancestor of the kiwi bird could fly and reached New Zealand, which is why they separated from the moas. On the island, they stopped flying.

Special Features

The kiwi feathers actually look like hair. Their legs are very strong and muscular. They have a very well-developed sense of smell. In fact, kiwi birds are the only ones who have nostrils at the end of the beaks. With them, they can sniff out invertebrates or other seeds they can eat.

These birds are rather shy and come out only during the night. They live between 25 and 50 years and they have a mate for the entire life. They live in forests, grasslands and scrublands and sleep in hollow logs, burrows on simply in the middle of some dense vegetation.

The kiwi birds have the lowest body temperature ever encountered on a bird, namely 38 degrees Celsius. What’s more interesting is that they’re very territorial, even in front of other kiwi birds.