Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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North Island Brown Kiwi

Apteryx mantelli

The North Island brown kiwi is a nocturnal species of kiwi from New Zealand. This flightless bird has a long, curved, pale gray-brown bill that is unique in the bird world because the nostrils are located near the tip.

Range & Habitat

In the Wild: This species of kiwi is native to the northern two-thirds of the North Island of New Zealand. This bird has adapted to live on scrub-like farmland, pine plantations, and their native forests, but it still prefers dense, sub-tropical and temperate forest.

At the Zoo: Adaptation of Animals (Nocturnal Animals wing)

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

North Island brown kiwi have disappeared from many lowland sites and around the fringes of their distribution, through a combination of habitat loss and predation.


In the Wild: Earthworms, beetles, snails, crayfish, insects, fruits and berries.

At the Zoo: A specialized diet including beef heart, ground meat, fruits , vegetables, specialized supplements and earthworms.

Life Span

Up to 50 years.

Fun Facts about the North Island Brown Kiwi

  •  The kiwi holds the Guinness Book of World Records title of largest bird egg relative to body size.
  •  The kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand. New Zealanders even refer to themselves as “kiwis.”


New Zealand Birds Online, North Island brown kiwi. Information retrieved October 2019.

The Animal Facts, North Island brown kiwi. Information retrieved October 2019.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, North Island brown kiwi. Information retrieved October 2019.

Updated February 3, 2021