Monday, March 4, 2013

Kiwi – The Shy and Flightless Bird of New Zealand

kiwi bird
 Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Birds are one of the finest creatures of almighty ALLAH. They are blessed with the gift of flight. But not all birds can fly. Ostrich and Penguin are two of such birds that are known to the world. But there is another kind of bird that cannot fly. It is much smaller in size compared to an ostrich and Penguin. This small flightless bird is called the Kiwi. If you want to see this beautiful bird, you need to go to New Zealand. as it is the only place where it can be found now. The bird is their national symbol. That is why New Zealanders are often called Kiwis by people all across the world.
Kiwi is a very small bird. In fact, from a distance, it looks just like a domestic chicken. However, the bird is able to lay eggs that are pretty big. In fact, the Kiwi lays the largest egg among birds of its size. The Kiwi cannot fly and its body structure provides the perfect explanation for that. Most birds have hollow bones. It reduces their weight enabling flight. But Kiwis have marrow in their bones, just like humans. That greatly increases their weight and prevents them from flight. Besides, from the breastbone to the anchor wing muscles, the Kiwi has no keel. The Kiwi also barely develops any wings. The Kiwi also has a very weak gizzard.
Kiwi is a very nice bird. It is shy in nature. Earlier, Kiwis were only spotted during the night time. It is because poachers and other predators walked on the field in broad daylight. But after most of the predators were moved to sanctuaries, kiwis were seen to be roaming around in broad daylight as well. The Kiwi is fond of subtropical environment and thus, is mostly seen around beach forests.
The Kiwi has a long bill and very touch sensitive. It is probably the only bird that has nostrils at the end of the beak. This makes them highly aware of smell, something that is not common in a bird. Kiwi eats grass, seeds and different types of worms. Their high awareness of smell allows them to locate worms from underground without having to actually see the location.
The nature of a Kiwi pair can resemble the nature of a human pair in certain aspects. Like humans, the male and female kiwi bonds. After bonding, the pair usually spends a monogamous life. A bonding like this can last up to 20 years. The mating season for the Kiwi is June to March. During this time, the pair calls to each other late at night. The mating takes place at the nesting burrow usually. However, the female Kiwi is able to lay only one egg per season.
Kiwi is a beautiful but endangered species. Deforestation should be stopped and positive and pragmatic steps should be taken to ensure the existence of this wonderful bird.

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