Did you know there was a 5.1 magnitude earthquake in Gisborne, New Zealand a day ago? I did, because it popped up on my news feed. And as always, seeing news of a minor earthquake triggers another set of BIRD FACTS! As it was a New Zealand quake, we may as well learn about New Zealand’s most famous bird, the Kiwi!
- Kiwis cannot fly. They have stumpy little wing remnants so their ancestors could though!
- Because they can’t fly, they feed on bugs on the forest floor.
- They do this at night because they are nocturnal! They can’t see very well, but their sense of smell is great.
- Basically, they fill the same niche that badgers do in areas that have mammals.
- Kiwis became nocturnal to avoid their natural predator, the gigantic (and sadly extinct) Haast Eagle.
- Unfortunately, being nocturnal doesn’t help Kiwi – especially Kiwi chicks- against introduced predators like rats, stoats, cats and dogs.
- Speaking of chicks, Kiwi lay huge eggs relative to their size -the egg weighs 25% of their bodyweight- so Kiwi chicks hatch and are almost immediately able to feed themselves.
- Kiwis are monogamous, but Kiwis are very grouchy birds that need their presonal space so the male and the female have separate burrows
- When the male wakes up, the first thing he does is let out a piercing call, which tells the female where he is and warns other Kiwis to stay out of their territory!
- They are dumpy and they run funny and I like them a lot.
That’s it for this time, so make sure to space out your enjoyment of these cool facts until next time!