The kiwi bird

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Even though the kiwi bird lays unusually large eggs considering the size of the bird the baby kiwi birds that are born are still small enough for you to carry cupped in your hands. These birds are of the flightless variety like the puffin and the penguin however they are not in the same family as these two birds and the kiwi bird is quite different to many birds including the flightless ones. Many years ago before the islander’s took the islands of New Zealand for their own there were giant birds called the Moa bird which was one that was also flightless but was huge like the emu or even bigger. When man was not around the only predator for this bird were the giant eagles which were also killed off once the islanders reached the big islands. This giant bird is one of the few relations to the kiwi bird even though the kiwi is tiny in comparison.

The kiwi bird has not feathers but instead it has a hair or fur like covering which covers its body all over except for the face and the feet. Their keen sense of smell might have something to do with the nostrils at the end of their long nose which is used to sniff out food sources from undergrowth and in rotting logs. The kiwi bird has unusually strong claws which mean that it can dig a hole to find food but it will usually live in a hole that is already dug by another animal or under something that can provide shelter from the rain and animals that are trying to eat the kiwi. They are very fast runners when it comes to a form of defense but this is about the only way they can defend themselves. Now that man has introduced cats, dogs, weasels and stoats into the forests of New Zealand the Kiwi bird can only survive if it is in a protected habitat like a sanctuary or a zoo.