Temporal range: Miocene–Recent
North Island brown kiwi
(Apteryx mantelli)
Scientific classification e
Haeckel, 1866
Gray, 1840[1]
Shaw, 1813[1]
Type species
Apteryx australis
Shaw, 1813[2]

Apteryx haastii Great spotted kiwi
Apteryx owenii Little spotted kiwi
Apteryx rowi Okarito brown kiwi
Apteryx australis Southern brown kiwi
Apteryx mantelli North Island brown kiwi

NZ-kiwimap 5 species.png
The distribution of each species of kiwi

Stictapteryx Iredale & Mathews, 1926
Kiwi Verheyen, 1960
Pseudapteryx Lydekker 1891

Kiwi (i/ KEE-wee)[4] or kiwis are flightless birds native to New Zealand, in the genus Apteryx and family Apterygidae. Approximately the size of a domestic chicken, kiwi are by far the smallest living ratites (which also consist of ostriches, emus, rheas, and cassowaries).

DNA sequence comparisons have yielded the surprising conclusion that kiwi are much more closely related to the extinct Malagasy elephant birds than to the moa with which they shared New Zealand.[5] There are five recognised species, four of which are currently listed as vulnerable, and one of which is near-threatened. All species have been negatively affected by historic deforestation but currently the remaining large areas of their forest habitat are well protected in reserves and national parks. At present, the greatest threat to their survival is predation by invasive mammalian predators.

The kiwi's egg is one of the largest in proportion to body size (up to 20% of the female's weight) of any species of bird in the world.[6] Other unique adaptations of kiwi, such as their hairlike feathers, short and stout legs, and using their nostrils at the end of their long beak to detect prey before they ever see it, have helped the bird to become internationally well-known.

The kiwi is recognised as an icon of New Zealand, and the association is so strong that the term Kiwi is used internationally as the colloquial demonym for New Zealanders.[7]


The Māori language word kiwi is generally accepted to be "of imitative origin" from the call.[8] However, some linguists derive the word from Proto-Nuclear Polynesian *kiwi, which refers to Numenius tahitiensis, the bristle-thighed curlew, a migratory bird that winters in the tropical Pacific islands.[9] With its long decurved bill and brown body, the curlew resembles the kiwi. So when the first Polynesian settlers arrived, they may have applied the word kiwi to the new-found bird.[10] The genus name Apteryx is derived from Ancient Greek "without wing": a-, "without" or "not"; pterux, "wing".[11]

The name is usually uncapitalised, with the plural either the anglicised "kiwis"[12] or, consistent with the Māori language, appearing as "kiwi" without an "-s".[13]

Other Languages
Ænglisc: Fiðerlēasere
العربية: كيوي (طائر)
aragonés: Apteryx
asturianu: Apteryx
azərbaycanca: Kivi (quş)
বাংলা: কিউই
беларуская: Ківі (птушка)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ківі (птушка)
български: Киви (птица)
brezhoneg: Kiwi (evn)
català: Kiwi (ocell)
Cebuano: Apteryx
dansk: Kiwier
Deutsch: Kiwis
Diné bizaad: Łeesdísí
eesti: Kiivi
Ελληνικά: Κίουι
español: Apteryx
Esperanto: Kivio
Gaeilge: Cíobhaí
galego: Kiwis
한국어: 키위 (새)
հայերեն: Կիվիներ
हिन्दी: कीवी पक्षी
hrvatski: Kiviji
Bahasa Indonesia: Kiwi
interlingua: Apteryx
íslenska: Kíví (fugl)
italiano: Apteryx
ქართული: კივი (გვარი)
қазақша: Кивилер
Кыргызча: Киви (канаттуу)
кырык мары: Киви (кек)
latviešu: Kivi (putni)
lietuvių: Kiviai
magyar: Kivifélék
മലയാളം: കിവി
Māori: Kiwi
مصرى: الكيوى
Bahasa Melayu: Kiwi
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကီးဝီးငှက်
Nederlands: Apteryx
norsk nynorsk: Kiviar
occitan: Kiwi (ausèl)
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕੀਵੀ (ਪੰਛੀ)
پنجابی: کیوی
polski: Apteryx
português: Apteryx
română: Pasărea Kiwi
Runa Simi: Kiwi p'isqu
русский: Киви (птицы)
Simple English: Kiwi
slovenščina: Kivi (žival)
српски / srpski: Кивији
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kiviji
Basa Sunda: Kiwi
suomi: Kiivit
svenska: Kivier
Tagalog: Apteryx
తెలుగు: కివి
Türkçe: Kivi (kuş)
українська: Ківі (птах)
اردو: کیوی
Tiếng Việt: Kiwi (chim)
Winaray: Apteryx
ייִדיש: קיווי
Zeêuws: Kiwi's
中文: 鷸鴕