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The kiwi is probably the most famous native bird in New Zealand. There are five species, the rarest being the rowi with only 250 individuals left in the world. Kiwi are the only bird in the world to have nostrils on the tip of the bill. At around 15% of the kiwi's body weight their eggs have one of the largest egg-to-body ratios (an ostrich’s is 2%).
A nocturnal bird, they feed on insects, using mechanoreceptors in their bill to feel for food in the soil rather than sighting it.
Wildbase hospital sees many kiwi each year with a wide variety of issues ranging from parasite burdens to trap injuries. Wild kiwi don’t convert to captive diets easily so they have to also be force fed daily to maintain body condition. Since its opening in 2002 the success rate for kiwi cared for at Wildbase has risen to 80%.
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Last updated on Tuesday 16 August 2016