Tuesday 22 January 2019

Meet Eggnog, the rare kiwi chick who hatched on Christmas Day

There are just 450 rowi kiwis left in the wild.

Eggnog the rowi kiwi (Nicki van Wyk/West Coast Wildlife Centre/PA)
Eggnog the rowi kiwi (Nicki van Wyk/West Coast Wildlife Centre/PA)

By Taylor Heyman and Edd Dracott

A rare rowi kiwi hatched on Christmas Day, earning the name Eggnog.

Eggnog was born at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Joseph, on New Zealand’s South Island.

According to the park, rowi are the rarest kiwi species in the world, with just 450 birds left alive in the wild, but this was the 50th rowi kiwi to hatch at the centre this season, and the 278th since it opened in 2010.

It took Eggnog five whole days to crack its way out of its shell, after 77 days of incubation.


Mind-bogglingly, West Coast Wildlife Centre staff will not be able to tell Eggnog’s gender for another year, as male and female kiwis look the same for that period.

Rowis are also known as Okarito kiwis because they are native to the Okarito forest on New Zealand’s South Island. Their eggs have had to be removed from the forest due to their vulnerability to stoats introduced to the area by humans.

The park says it hatches the eggs and then transfers the birds to predator-free islands before releasing them back into Okarito forest once they are less vulnerable.

Press Association

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