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Our National Bird - the Kiwi

The much loved national bird of New Zealand is, of course, the Kiwi – a small, flightless, nocturnal bird which lays an egg which is about ½ the size of the poor mother. Goodnight KiwiVery cute, but very rare and there less than 1,000 of them left in the wild. They are naturally a protected bird, but introduced animals have completely wrecked their habitat and present a multiple of threats to which they have no resistance, nor defence.

Prior to human arrival in New Zealand, there were no mammals in the country at all. The whole country was only populated by birds & insects, as it remained until the arrival of the Polynesians and their dogs, about 700 years ago. Things got a lot worse for the Kiwis when the Europeans came with Captain Cook, from 1779 onwards, bringing horse, sheep, cats, rats and other pestilence.

Another cultural icon in NZ for decades was the ‘Goodnight Kiwi’ cartoon which played as TV shut down around midnight every night, as it used to do up until not so long ago.

The YouTube video below is of the cartoon clip that every Kiwi knows & loves (well, those who are old enough).

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