A native to New Zealand, the kiwi bird is a flightless bird and is about the size of a domestic chicken with a rounded, brown egg-shaped body covered in long greyish-brown hair. It also has a small, pale, featherless head with a beak that looks like a cross between that of a parrot or an eagle. Kiwis are nocturnal birds which spend most of their days sleeping in burrows or ferns. They come out at night to feed on worms and plants.
And you’ve probably wondered how big a baby kiwi bird is. We’ll have you know that it is big enough to fit in the palm of your hand, or perch on top of your head! These curious little guys are the smallest living species of birds and live in New Zealand – naturally.
These birds are an interesting species and their sizes can vary quite a bit. But when it comes down to it, one bird is more interesting than others – the Kiwi bird. A baby kiwi bird may not be as large as an adult, but that doesn’t mean it is a small animal. Baby kiwi birds can still be massive pieces of poultry when compared to other types of birds.
This blog post provides you with information that will answer how big is a baby kiwi bird question and so much more.
How big is a baby kiwi bird?
It depends on the species and which kiwi bird you’re talking about. Originally, New Zealand is home to five of our flightless little friends, the kiwi. The brown kiwi, or rowi, is one of the smaller ones at 1 foot tall, 3 pounds. The baby kiwi bird only weighs 1/20 of an ounce (50 grams). The Okarito brown kiwi might be even smaller than that at 1 foot tall and 2 pounds. The biggest of them all is the great spotted kiwi who grows up to 5 feet tall and 8 pounds.
Kiwi birds are a widespread species and they typically lay the largest egg in proportion to their body size. Baby kiwis most likely grow fast – as fast as 18 cm in their first week. However, the baby Kiwi bird is very small at birth.
The female kiwi bird incubates her eggs in her body, where they develop into chicks. At hatching, a baby kiwi bird can be so small that it fits into the palm of your hand. No matter how cute they may look, you don’t want to get too close! Ignoring the claws on their feet, these little birds can start pecking if threatened.
Kiwis are shy, seldom seen, have an excellent sense of smell and hearing but poor eyesight. Kiwis are solitary and nocturnal. They live mainly in forested areas, although they also inhabit shrublands and grasslands.
The kiwi is perhaps the most unusual looking bird in the world. It looks more like a small mammal than a bird. Its body is stout and its legs are long and powerful with claws well developed for digging in soil. The wings are tiny and of no use for flying. Its bill is long and slender for probing into holes in search of food.
Kiwi bird facts (or should we call them Baby Kiwi bird facts) focus on the different stages of the development of a baby kiwi bird. From the egg all the way to when it finally leaves its parents and forms a couple with another adult kiwi. It’s one tough job being both protector, toy and food for these babies. But this is how they grow into their feathers and learn how to fly and hunt for themselves.
Fact is not everyone knows what the fuzzy brown things are. Some think they are the egg of a giant bird like an ostrich or a stork. But these “eggs” are actually baby Kiwis. A baby kiwi bird has no wings and no tail feathers. What is really interesting about a kiwi bird is that it has nostrils at the tip of its long beak.
Kiwi chicks, once they’ve hatched, begin life as miniature versions of their adult counterparts. They instinctively know to leave the nest and head for the forest floor.
What are some fun facts about Kiwi birds?
- Kiwi chicks are fully feathered and have their eyes open when they hatch. They’re also able to leave the nest as soon as they hatch, which is unusual for birds. Most birds remain in the nest for a few days after hatching, allowing their underdeveloped wings to grow strong enough for flight.
- Kiwi chicks weigh about 1/3 of a pound at birth and lack feathers on their legs and feet. Their legs are also short and stubby in comparison to their bodies.
- Adult kiwis spend much of their day hiding in burrows, which is where female kiwis lay eggs as well. The female kiwi can lay up to 100 eggs in her lifetime, but only about 5% survive to adulthood.
- Kiwis have adapted well to New Zealand’s ecology because they have no natural predators on the islands. However, over time human beings have introduced new dangers such as dogs and ferrets into the kiwi’s habitat. Ferrets prey on the eggs while dogs often eat or kill baby kiwi birds.
How many babies can a kiwi bird have?
A female kiwi bird can lay anywhere between one and three eggs during breeding season and on average 80-100 eggs in her lifetime. However, the average number is two eggs a season. The mother lays the egg and the father incubates it for about three months, after which time the baby kiwi bird hatches. The father continues to care for the baby kiwi until it grows large enough to defend itself against predators.
Why are Kiwi bird eggs so big?
There are a few reasons why kiwi birds have such large eggs. First, the eggs tend to be about 20% of the mother’s body mass. That’s about 10x as big as other birds‘ eggs relative to the mother’s size. (Kiwis are super cute and all, but no one’s mistaking them for albatrosses, who also lay large eggs.) Second, baby kiwi bird is born with a lot of yolk in their tummies. This allows them to be more independent and stay on their own while they grow feathers.
Kiwi Bird ability to lay large eggs and survive:
The Kiwi is a ratite and it is the only one that can lay such a large egg in relation to their body size. This means their bones are hollow and very light, unlike other birds like the ostrich, which has heavy solid bones so that it can run and kick.
The yolk of the Kiwi’s egg accounts for about 25% of its weight. The eggs are huge when compared with other ratite species, but this is because the female kiwi lays her egg after she has stored enough fat and nutrients for the baby kiwi bird to grow for about 75 days, until it hatches. The kiwi’s oviduct is 30cm long, which is longer than any other bird’s in relation to their body size.
They have a low metabolic rate. This means that they use less energy, and so are able to put more energy into reproduction. Another reason why kiwis have large eggs is because their eggs hatch relatively late in development, unlike the eggs of other birds which hatch when they are fully developed. The kiwi’s large size and low metabolic rate help it to survive until its baby kiwi bird hatches.
How long does it take for a baby kiwi bird to grow and mature?
Baby kiwi birds are hatched when they are the size of a bumble bee. Since the mother lays one egg per year, the largest of any bird in the world in relation to its size, it takes the male kiwi bird around 80 days to incubate the egg.
The baby kiwi bird hatches with a tuft of hair on its head and can already feed itself, but as it looks like an adult kiwi it is usually vulnerable to predators and will hide for up to nine weeks until it gets its adult feathers.
When fully grown, baby kiwi birds are about the size of a chicken and weigh about 1.3 kg (3 lb). Note that baby kiwi birds grow at different rates depending on the type of kiwi species. Brown baby kiwi birds take four years to reach full size; North Island brown baby kiwi take three years; great spotted baby kiwis take seven years; and little spotted baby kiwi birds take five years.
So how big is a baby kiwi bird? It depends on where the bird was born. Some baby kiwis in the North Island weigh twice less than the South Island. Besides that, these birds are still fragile and a little bigger than a robin when they leave their burrow.
Can a baby kiwi bird be a pet?
Kiwi birds are wild animals and cannot be kept as pets. They are very shy and remote creatures of the forest floor that sleep during the day and forage at night. They do not like to be handled or held, and they have a powerful defensive kick, aided by their sharp claws. For all these reasons, it is impossible to tame them.
How long do kiwis live for?
Kiwis can live for up to 20 years in the wild. They sleep in the day and are up during the night; they are nocturnal. Kiwis grow to about the size of a domestic chicken, reach sexual maturity at 3–4 years of age, and often live for more than 50 years.