Rare white kiwi chick


8 Years
Mar 4, 2011
Buffalo (but from Long Island)
I just happened upon these pics while reading an article on something unrelated, and wanted to share it with fellow BYC'ers. I don't know anything else about it, and I have to run, so I don't have time at the moment to investigate further. Enjoy, and perhaps others will find out more and post it in this thread.


wow thats adorable!! How do those things hatch with a beak like tht??? I'm serious...Is that the reason why they are so rare???
Kiwis (there are a few species) are rare because they evolved in a land without mammalian predators, and took up making their living rummaging on the forest floor for bugs and worms. The females lay one HUGE egg (it's about 25-30% of her body weight), so their reproductive output is low. I don't think their big bill is a reason for their rarity. Interestingly, they are the only birds with their nostrils at the tip of their bill, instead of being at the base. This physiology likely evolved as an aide to probing for bugs and worms in the forest floor.

Oh, and before anyone asks about having one as a pet, they're super aggressive.


ETA -- I wanted to add that they're rare now because people brought new animals to their native land, for which the kiwis did not evolve defenses, and they became easy prey.
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Invasive predators have about wiped them out...domestic dogs, cats, etc gone wild. New Zealand had no predators big enough to kill Kiwi's before man arrived...go figure. They are protected by the Endangered Species act with CITES and cannot be held captive outside of zoos. Though, if they would allow private breeders to start keeping them, their numbers would go back up fast...but of course zoo's know best. These are the only Ratites I havent had, always wished I could get some. Amazing to see a white one.
They are sacred to the Maori people of New Zealand and VERY protected. Not a chance of getting one. Even Zoos outside NZ are unable to obtain new specimens. There are a large number of different subspecies, and most are in danger of imminent extinction due to non-native introduced predators. Their eggs are huge - about the size of an ostrich egg!

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