Kiwi are a far older species than humans- they have been around for about 70 million years.
¨What do kiwi eat?
Worms, spiders, beetle larvae, freshwater crayfish, fallen fruits, cicada nymphs. Kiwi feed by walking along, tapping the ground and sniffing loudly. When a kiwi smells food it probes into the soil, leaf litter, log or water to capture its prey.
The oldest bird recorded in the wild is over 22 years old, but some probably live for between 30-40 years.
The female usually lays two eggs, twice a year. The first clutch is laid in June/July, the second clutch is laid in October/November. Once the female has laid the eggs, the male comes to the nest and sits on the eggs for about 75-85 days. With most kiwi varieties, the male is the only one who sits on the eggs. The chick hatches fully feathered, and remains in the nest for about a week (feeding off its yolk sack) before venturing out. It can feed itself as soon as it leaves the nest. The chick will usually hang around in its parents’ territory for 2-5 weeks, but sometimes remains for a year or so.
Kiwi mate for life, this can often mean more than 30 years together. They first breed at 2-4 years. A kiwi pair defends a territory from other kiwi.
The kiwi in the Ruapehu region are about 50cm long. The male is smaller than the female, being about 2.2kg, and the female being about 3.0kg. Females also have longer bills than the males.
A kiwi egg is around 2/3 the size of the females body.