Classification The Australasian ratites (Emus, Cassowaries and Kiwis) share a common ancestor, as seen in the genealogical tree under "Struthioniformes". Kiwis belong to the Apterygiforme order, which comprises five species of flightless birds found in New Zealand.
The name is a Maori word referring to the shrill call of
the male. Kiwis are grayish brown birds the size of a chicken. They are unusual in many respects: the
vestigial wings are hidden within the plumage; the nostrils are at the
tip (rather than the base) of the long, flexible bill; the feathers,
which have no aftershafts, are soft and hairlike; the legs are stout
and muscular; and each of the four toes has a large claw. The eyes are
small and inefficient in full daylight, the ear openings are large and
well developed, and very long bristles (perhaps tactile) occur at the
base of the bill.
kiwi. (2011). Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica