The Kiwi bird, of the order Apterygiformes-Ratitae, occurs only in New Zealand. Although primarily a bird of New Zealand’s native forests, kiwis also live in scrub and native grasslands. Because the kiwi is a semi-nocturnal, secretive bird, few New Zealanders have seen their national bird in the wild.
The kiwi is the sole survivor of an ancient order of birds including the now extinct moas.
A flightless bird about the size of a domestic fowl, the kiwi has coarse, bristly, hair-like feathers. Females are larger than males.
Kiwis grow to about the size of a chicken and weigh between three and nine pounds. They have no tail and tiny two inch wings which for all practical purposes, are useless. Despite its awkward appearance, a kiwi can actually outrun a human and have managed to survive because of their alertness and their sharp, three-toed feet, which enable them to kick and slash an enemy.