Why Mr. Kiwi does all the domestic chores?


Picture of a kiwi.

Kiwi's unusual family life


Mr. Kiwi does all the domestic chores.

He builds the underground nest and incubates the eggs.

Oddly, flightless male birds do the incubating, whereas, among the birds that fly, this job is generally done by the female.

It takes eighty days for Mr. Kiwi to brood one egg.

He sits on the nest for a week at a time without leaving to get food or drink.

He survives the ordeal but loses almost one-third his weight.

To show her appreciation Mrs. Kiwi may present Mr. Kiwi with another egg and thus another eighty-day sitting.

Despite all this Work, Mr. Kiwi never divorces Mrs. Kiwi. They remain paired for life, which may be twenty-five years.

Mrs. Kiwi too is doing her best to we serve the kiwi family.

She contributes only one or two eggs a year, but what is lacking in number is made up in size.

Four. or five-pound Mrs. Kiwi lays eggs three inches by five, weighing up to eighteen ounces-almost one-fourth her Weight!

Do you wonder about Junior?

When ready to hatch he claws his way through the shell instead of pecking his way out like most birds do.

Once hatched, Junior is on his own.

His parents do not feed him.

He is born with eyes open, and after living for about six days on his special reserve of energy he is ready to forage for himself.

Adult kiwis feed only at night. Junior eats whenever hungry, day or night. And what an appetite!

He may devour as many as eight hundred worms in twenty-four hours twice his weight in food every day