Two young kiwi have taken up residence in the nocturnal house at Kiwi North, one of them needing wings to get there from Napier.

Their arrival means the young bachelor kiwi Ben is about to fly the coop - or, in the case of a flightless and precious kiwi, be carefully driven and delivered to his next hangout.

On Tuesday, Kiwi North welcomed 10-month-old female Zephyr, who was flown north from the Westshore Kiwi Facility in Napier where she was incubated and bred, and 5-month-old Raukura from Auckland Zoo.

Raukura was driven up to the birds' new home at Kiwi North, at Whangārei Museum, by Auckland Zoo's bird keeper, Natalie Clark.

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Both birds are part of the national captive management programme, Kiwi North operations director Allie Fry said.

''Only birds bred in captivity are used for public display. When they reach maturity nearing 3 years old they will become part of the breeding programme or released to a sanctuary.

''Ben is now 33 months old and is to be released to a sanctuary in Taranaki where he will hopefully go on to find a mate, look after eggs and bring wild young kiwi into the population. He has been practising his burrow digging for months now.''

Lila Lusher is holding Zephyr whose feet give an indication of how powerful they are used as a defence against predators in the wild.
Lila Lusher is holding Zephyr whose feet give an indication of how powerful they are used as a defence against predators in the wild.

In April this year the female kiwi Jockalene who had shared the Kiwi House with Ben died. They both arrived as 5-month-old chicks in 2017.

Newly arrived Raukura and Zephyr are expected to quickly settle into Northland's only nocturnal house in time for the upcoming school holidays.

''Here our community, other New Zealand visitors and those from all over the world can watch them behaving just as they would in the wild,'' Fry said.

''Our goal is that our visitors to the museum and the Kiwi House gain enough cultural and environmental insight that when they go out to explore our country they do so with respect, care and appreciation of what makes it so very unique.''

Carrying the kiwi boxes into Kiwi North are, from left: Lila Lusher, Natalie Clark from Auckland Zoo and Allie Fry.
Carrying the kiwi boxes into Kiwi North are, from left: Lila Lusher, Natalie Clark from Auckland Zoo and Allie Fry.

The nocturnal house turns day into night, even replicating seasonal temperatures, providing a "natural" environment for the otherwise elusive, night-living kiwi.

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Special lighting and glass enables visitors to watch them foraging for live food and interacting in their enclosure just as they would in the wild. If they are napping inside their burrows, special cameras allow the unseen visitors to spy on them.

The Kiwi House is also home to a living dinosaur, the museum's resident tuatara, a species which dates back more than 250 million years and is found only in New Zealand. Sharp-eyed visitors will also see native gecko, cleverly camouflaged in the environment due to the ability to change colour.