Southern Brown Kiwi

Southern Brown Kiwi

Tokoeka, Common kiwi, Southern brown kiwi, Tokoeka, Common kiwi

2 languages
Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Apteryx australis
Population size
21,350
Life Span
20-40 yrs
Weight
1.6-4 kg
Length
45-55 cm

The southern brown kiwi, tokoeka, or common kiwi (Apteryx australis ) is a species of kiwi from South Island, New Zealand. Until 2000 it was considered conspecific with the North Island brown kiwi, and still is by some authorities.

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

In

Insectivores

Ve

Vermivorous

Te

Terrestrial

Pr

Precocial

Bu

Burrowing

Cu

Cursorial

Is

Island endemic

Te

Territorial

Mo

Monogamy

So

Social

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

S

starts with

Appearance

The Southern brown kiwi is a shy flightless bird that is only found in New Zealand. It has no preen gland, and it has no tail. There are large vibrissae around its gape, and its bill is long and slender with a slight down-curve. The color of its plumage is rufous with some streaking.

Distribution

Geography

Southern brown kiwi are native to New Zealand. They live in the South Island and Stewart Island. On the mainland (South Island) they live in Fiordland and Westland. These birds inhabit temperate and sub-tropical forests, grassland, and shrubland. They are widespread throughout Stewart Island where they also live on the sand dunes.

Southern Brown Kiwi habitat map

Climate zones

Southern Brown Kiwi habitat map
Southern Brown Kiwi

Habits and Lifestyle

Southern brown kiwi are social birds and often live in family groups. They are nocturnal, however, in some parts of their range Southern brown kiwi may forage during the day. These birds have a long slender bill with lateral nostrils at the tip, which helps give them their keen sense of smell. Kiwi use this, more than sight and sound to forage in the dirt for their food. They feel the vibrations produced by worms and grubs several centimeters below the surface. Southern brown kiwi communicate vocally to aid in defending their territory. They will also sing duets with each other, with the male shrill "kee-wee" or "kee-kee" and the females hoarse " kurr kurr". Males are more vocal and they both call in an upright position with their legs stretched out and their bill pointing up.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

Southern brown kiwi are carnivorous birds. They feed on invertebrates, including earthworms, beetle larvae, snails, spiders, centipedes, grasshoppers, and crickets. They will also consume fallen fruit and leaves.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
INCUBATION PERIOD
90 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
1 year
BABY NAME
chick
web.animal_clutch_size
1-2 eggs

Southern brown kiwi are monogamous and once paired up, they will defend their territories with warning calls. The size of their territory usually ranges between 4.9 and 43 hectares (12 and 106 acres). Nests are made in burrows or sheltered beneath thick vegetation. The female lays 1-2 eggs, typically just 1, which the male incubates for 90 days. The chick is hatched fully-developed (precocial) and after a few days, it will leave the nest. The chick will feed on its own but may stay around parents for a year. Young males become reproductively mature and start breeding at 14 months of age while young females reach their maturity when they are 2 years old.

Population

Population threats

Southern brown kiwi are threatened by the habitat loss and by predation from Brush-tailed possums, stoats, and cats that eat the eggs, chicks, and juveniles. Adult birds are also often attacked by dogs and ferrets.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total Southern brown kiwi population size is around 21,350 birds which include around 19,900 mature individuals. Specific populations have been estimated in such areas: 12,000 birds on Stewart Island; 9,000 birds in Fiordland. The Haast population consists of 350 birds. Overall, currently, Southern brown kiwi are classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List and their numbers today are decreasing.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The kiwi’s plumage looks almost like hair; this is due to the loose structure of the feathers, which do not lock together as in other birds.
  • The Southern brown kiwi is a ratite; it belongs to a group of flightless birds that also includes ostrich, emu, rhea, and cassowary.
  • The Southern brown kiwi is a good swimmer; it is able to wade and swim in streams and shallow pools if needed.
  • Female kiwi birds are superheroes. A kiwi egg takes about 20% of the female's body while in comparison a human baby takes only about 5% of its mother's body.

References

1. Southern Brown Kiwi on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_brown_kiwi
2. Southern Brown Kiwi on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22678122/155418586
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/525925

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