Okarito kiwi

The nocturnal multisyllabic duet singers of Ōkārito forest

Stewart Nimmo

This large brown ratite has longways of brown and black streaks, with vestigial wings and no tail. Armed with long curved bills, powerful legs, and sharp claws to live on the ground.

They are nocturnal and rest during the day in burrows, hollow logs, or under thick vegetation. Their eyesight is poor, but they have an acute sense of smell. They also use vibrations to locate prey. These rarest kiwis are solitary. Territories are defended with calls, chases, and even fights with intruders.

They are found in-and-around the Ōkārito forest, just one natural population left. Predation and habitat loss resulted in vulnerable and nationally critical status, thanks to Operation Nest Egg!


Population est.
New Zealand
Official estimate

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No