These two brown kiwi chicks hail from Te Mata in the Coromandel. The eldest is now four-days-old and when our bird team received the egg from our friends at  it had already started to externally pip, so they knew it wouldn’t take long until the chick was out of the shell and into their care. This chick is the offspring of first-time dad Ngawari so brings valuable genetics to the programme.

Chick number two hatched just two days ago. When kiwi first hatch their feathers are covered with a slimy coat that will dry and flake off over the next 24 hours. This chick is from sire Waipahu and our bird team have cared for other chicks of his in the past. 

Both kiwi were weighed (314 and 337 grams respectively) to check they’re progressing as they should, their bills were measured and a couple of feathers from each have been sent off for sexing. The chick you see above had a bill measurement of 45.34mm which is still some way to go till it reaches its full size. Adult male kiwi are known to have bill lengths of around 81–120mm while females bills can grow up to 157m!

When they’ve reached the right weight, these kiwi will be heading to predator free islands through the Operation Nest Egg (ONE) programme with the Department of Conservation, Kiwis for Kiwi and other regional partners. Without crucial conservation intervention like this, only 5% of kiwi would reach breeding age in the wild because of invasive predators like stoats. We’re so pleased that kiwi season has kicked off to a great start and that we’ve had three chicks hatch already this #SaveKiwiMonth. There are currently four more eggs incubating at the zoo, so stay tuned for updates!