Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Odd Birds

Kiwi are unique to New Zealand. They evolved without land mammal predators or competitors. Their adaptations make kiwi seem more like mammals than birds. Kiwi are flightless, ground-dwelling, nocturnal, and have a keen sense of smell.

Unintended Predators for Kiwi

Years ago, stoats were brought to New Zealand from Europe to combat rabbit pests. Today, these introduced predators kill 70% of all kiwi chicks.

Conservationists Strike Back

New Zealanders began Operation Nest Egg in 1994 to increase young kiwi survival rate. It's working!

Raising Kiwi at the Zoo

In 1975, the National Zoo was the first zoo to hatch a kiwi chick outside of New Zealand! Our second chick hatched in 2006. We use the latest rearing protocols from Operation Nest Egg, combined with doting husbandry.