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Animals and Birds of Australia and New Zealand


New Zealand kiwi ... a national symbol

New Zealand kiwi ... a national symbol

© Tourism New Zealand

Found only in New Zealand, the kiwi gets its name from the plaintive shrill cry of the male bird.

The flightless bird is thought to have lived in New Zealand for 70 million years. The kiwi is a national symbol and New Zealanders are often referred to as "Kiwis."

The kiwi is grayish brown in color and the size of a chicken. It is usually nocturnal but can be seen in daylight hours in native wildlife sanctuaries and in places where, apparently, there is no perceived danger from predators.

There are five species of the kiwi, all of which are endangered.

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