11 May 2011

Russian kiwi identified as a bittern

11:45 am on 11 May 2011

A zoologist says a kiwi reportedly found in a garden in southern Russia is not a kiwi at all.

Russian media outlets reported on Monday that a kiwi had been found in the city of Sochi.

But the BBC says a zoologist in Russia has identified the bird as a bittern, a migratory wading bird that probably injured its wing and could not fly.

Bitterns belong to the heron family and look relatively similar to kiwi with a long beak and short tail. However, they have much larger wings and different feathers.

The Department of Conservation in New Zealand says it is not surprised to hear it was a case of mis-identification.

Sochi is a Black Sea port and tourist resort with a warm climate. It is 16,000km from New Zealand.