Introduced predators and habitat loss saw New Zealand’s national bird vanish from the capital 100 years ago. A new cohort of 11 birds is changing all that
Along a windswept ridge line on Wellington’s south coast, above the pounding sea and in the shadows of whirring wind turbines, 11 kiwi – New Zealand’s treasured national bird – are making themselves at home for the first time in generations.
The unique flightless birds have been busy in the week since their arrival. They have each moved out of their temporary human-made homes and begun digging burrows into the hillsides with their strong claws. Soon they will line their dens with leaves, soft moss and feathers in preparation for their enormous alabaster-like eggs.