Today we went to the Kiwi House and Heritage Park! This National Bird of New Zealand is threatened as its once thriving number of over 5 million (80 years ago) has plummeted to only 70,000!!! These guys are super cool and we got the chance to see them today during feeding time (11am, 1pm and 3pm) at the Sanctuary in Whangarei. They live in a self sustaining habitat with minimal human interaction until the age of 3 when they start breeding and then are re-introduced into the wild. They’re nocturnal, have really poor eyesight, a keen sense of smell, whiskers like a cat and useless little wings on their sides! They’re eyesight is so poor that apparently they can run into things like trees or each other at full tilt! These guys are very territorial and have wicked strong/sharp talons on their feet used to fight!
This picture isn’t a live Kiwi, just a stuffed version. The real once’s were in an enclosure where we weren’t allowed to use flash cameras.
We also explored the rest of the park where there was an old woman’s prison built in 1900 and the hole I’m sticking my face out of was used to pass food through.
This place had many other buildings (not all were open) but really cool! There was a museum, bird hospital, historic buildings, Maori culture and a planetarium!
Definitely worth the stop and the $20 admission, as some of it goes towards the conservation Kiwi birds! •
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