Family Kiwis (Apterygidae)

Near Threatened

Little Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx owenii)


French: Kiwi d’Owen German: Zwergkiwi Spanish: Kiwi moteado menor

Apteryx Owenii


, 1847,

South Island, New Zealand#R


Found to present notably lesser degree of internal genetic variation than congeners#R. Possible race iredalei#R (North I) extinct since late 19th century. Monotypic.


New Zealand in Karori Sanctuary (Wellington; reintroduced) and on Kapiti I (off SW coast of North I; possibly introduced).

Introduced on four other islands off North I (Red Mercury, Hen, and Tiritiri Matangi and Motuihe#R) and one off NE South I (Long I); also recently introduced on Chalky I, off extreme SW South I#R.

Descriptive notes

35–45 cm; male 880–1356 g, bill 63–72 mm, female 1000–1950 g, bill 75–94 mm. Flightless nocturnal bird with rotund appearance, lacking visible... read more


Male gives high-pitched ascending whistle, repeated up to 30 times in series lasting up to 20... read more


Evergreen forest and mature deciduous forest with dense undergrowth; also margins of forest-scrub... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly invertebrates; also fallen fruits, leaves and fern sporangia. Animal items generally 5–40 mm in size, especially earthworms (... read more


Laying mainly Sept–Oct, also Nov–Dec, and even Jan–Apr. Monogamous; lifelong pair-bond. Solitary. Nest-burrow horizontal... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Scarce to rare and very local. Now restricted to five offshore islands (on most/all of which introduced) and... read more

Recommended citation

Folch, A., Jutglar, F. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Little Spotted Kiwi (Apteryx owenii). 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 25 May 2019).