Road sense is something kiwi don't seem to learn whether they're the feathered kind crossing the road at night or they're Kiwi with a capital 'K' who are behind the wheel.

A kiwi called Sheryl - released at Matapouri Bay only six weeks ago - was found on the side of the road with leg injuries.

Named after Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai, Sheryl was found bruised and unable to walk during a routine monitoring check.

Local woman Nan Pullman found the kiwi lying in a pile of leaves on the side of Matapouri Rd on Saturday morning.


"She was unable to stand or walk and it seemed she may have suffered a glancing blow from a vehicle as she crossed this extremely busy road at night," Ms Pullman said.

An assessment by Robert Webb of the Whangarei Bird Recovery Centre confirmed the kiwi still had some feeling in her legs, her bill was intact and there was no sign of external bleeding.

However, her stiff, bruised legs meant she was unable to walk.

"We are hoping that she is just bruised and will recover in the next little while so she can return to the predator controlled Tutukaka Coast,'' Ms Pullman said.

Sheryl was one of three female kiwi released by Tutukaka Landcare Coalition at nearby Tawapou Farm in mid-November, following the release earlier in the year of three young male birds in the area.

Sheryl's movements, as she explored her new home, have been monitored by Tutukaka Landcare Coalition volunteers via a transmitter attached to her leg.

She spent most of the past month in several bush gullies near the release site but locals got nervous as she started to head towards Matapouri Rd a couple of days ago.

The traffic has been very heavy the past few days on the coast.

"Please tell family, friends and visitors to slow down on the roads and take special care at night as they may well find a kiwi crossing in front of them," Ms Pullman urged.

Meanwhile, other kiwi monitored by Tutukaka Landcare are safe and sound.

For regular news and priority updates on the Tutukaka kiwi, sign up to the Kiwi Coast 'Follow a Kiwi' Programme.