Family Kiwis (Apterygidae)


Okarito Kiwi (Apteryx rowi)


French: Kiwi d’Okarito German: Okaritokiwi Spanish: Kiwi de Okarito
Other common names: Okarito Brown Kiwi, Rowi

Apteryx rowi

Tennyson et al.

, 2003,

South Okarito Forest, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand


Until recently undescribed, and thus treated as conspecific with A. australis and A. mantelli; various genetic studies show the three to be well separated#R#R#R, with present species in fact closer to geographically more distant A. mantelli than to A. australis, a conclusion backed up by evidence of feather lice#R. According to describers#R, differs from A. australis in having dorsal feathers largely brown, streaked lengthwise (2); barred outer wing (although this is presumably vestigial and normally invisible on the living bird) (2); greyer head and neck, commonly with some white markings (2); usually pinker bill and legs, with whiter claws (ns [1]); on average shorter bill (1); presence of unique species of feather louse (= ecological difference) (1). In the past, range of present species therefore likely to have extended farther N, perhaps onto North I. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Okarito Forest (Okarito R S to Waiho R), in C part of W coast of South I, in New Zealand.

Descriptive notes

c. 55 cm; male 1575–2250 g, female 1950–3570 g. A medium-sized kiwi, with comparatively short bill (average bill length 9·5 cm for males, 12·5 cm... read more


Loud shrill calls given at night.


Favours dense temperate forest, mainly coastal podocarp–hardwood forest.

Food and feeding

No information on diet; presumably as that of other kiwis. Forages singly and in pairs. Mostly nocturnal, probably as a response to... read more


Season protracted, from Jun to Mar. Monogamous; most individuals pair for life. Nest in concealed burrow excavated previously by the birds... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in South Island of New Zealand EBA. Confined to a small area in and around Okarito Forest, on CW coast of South I, where... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Okarito Kiwi (Apteryx rowi). 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 2019).