Strange flightless bird has mammal-like characteristics

Registration for Bronx Zoo Birdathon is open at

Bronx, NY – May 8, 2014 – A northern brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) in its habitat in the Aquatic Bird House at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo.

The Bronx Zoo has three kiwis on exhibit; two in the World of Birds and one in a new exhibit in the Aquatic Bird House.

These flightless nocturnal birds weigh between 6 to 8 pounds and their feathers resemble hair. Their vision is poor, so they use the whiskers at the base of their bill and a keen sense of smell to navigate and find their food.

Brown kiwis have powerful legs and are very quick. In the wild they feed on worms, insects, crayfish, amphibians, eels and some fruit. They will thrust their bill into the ground to capture prey. Once caught, the kiwi will beat the prey on the ground before consuming it.

Kiwis are the national symbol of New Zealand. Northern brown kiwis are the most common of the kiwi species and are native only to New Zealand’s North Island. Found in subtropical and temperate forests and grasslands, they live in burrows under stones, logs and shrubs.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo will host the first ever “Bronx Zoo Birdathon” on Saturday, May 17 during the peak of the spring migration season.

The first annual bird-watching event is open to experienced birders as well as families and novices. Participants will be able to observe wild birds during their seasonal migration and birds throughout the zoo’s exhibits – including the northern brown kiwi.

Prizes will be presented to those that are able to observe the most birds on their checklists. For more information and to register for the Bronx Zoo Birdathon, visit

Max Pulsinelli - 718-220-5182;
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189;
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends from April to October; 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m November to March. Adult admission is $16.95, children (3-12 years old) $12.95, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14.95. Parking is $15 for cars and $18 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit or call 718-367-1010.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit:;;; follow: @theWCS.