Family Kiwis (Apterygidae)


Great Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx haastii)


French: Kiwi roa German: Haastkiwi Spanish: Kiwi moteado mayor

Apteryx haastii


, 1872,

Westland, South Island, New Zealand


Exhibits high levels of genetic variability, but without constant geographical patterns#R; also shows a degree of morphological variability along latitudinal and altitudinal gradients; further study required. Senior synonym A. maxima apparently unused for more than a century, now recommended for formal suppression#R. Monotypic.


New Zealand in NW South I, mainly W of main divide.

Introduced to Little Barrier I, off NW North I.

Descriptive notes

50–60 cm; male 1215–2610 g, bill 90–100 mm, female 1530–3270 g, bill 125–135 mm. Flightless nocturnal bird with rotund appearance, lacking... read more


More vocal than congeners. Male gives shrill rising whistle with warbling quality, 1–1... read more


Variety of habitats, including tussock grassland, damp, mossy southern beech (Nothofagus)... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly invertebrates, especially beetle larvae (Coleoptera) and earthworms (Oligochaeta), and in summer large crickets (Orthoptera) and... read more


Laying Jul–Nov, replacements to Jan. Monogamous; females in lowland sites sometimes polyandrous. At Nelson Lakes National Park,... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Global population estimated at 22,000 mature individuals in 1996; declining. May now number as few as 8000 birds. Three main populations: in area from NW Nelson S... read more

Recommended citation

Folch, A., Christie, D.A. & Jutglar, F. (2018). Great Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx haastii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 March 2018).