5 Feb 2010

Drought conditions killing kiwi

8:20 pm on 5 February 2010

Drought conditions are causing the kiwi to die from starvation and dehydration, according to a native bird recovery centre in Whangarei.

The centre's founder, Robert Webb, says seven kiwi have died in the past month.

Mr Webb says the kiwi are finding it difficult to poke their long beaks into the ground for worms and spiders because the ground is so dry.

Kiwi are nocturnal birds but they are venturing out during the day to find food and are dying in the heat.

Mr Webb says a kiwi chick was rescued on Northland's west coast recently after being found on a walkway in the middle of the day cooking in the sun.

The drought is also discouraging the birds from nesting, he says.