Ever wondered how a kiwi drinks?

Rare footage captured on Stewart Island in August answers that very question.

Kiwi researcher Emma Feenstra posted the footage to her Stewart Island Kiwi Facebook page and told the Herald it was a "special moment for people to see".

A Stewart Island kiwi, also known as a Rakiura tokoeka, was filmed bending down and dipping its whole bill into a small pond on the forest floor before standing up and repeatedly shaking its head.


"While they get some moisture from the food they eat [insects, earthworms, berries etc], they also get thirsty," Feenstra said.

"Notice how the kiwi shakes its head after a sip of water, my guess would be this is to clear the nostrils. Kiwi are the only bird in the world with external nostrils at the end of the bill."

Most New Zealanders would be lucky to ever see a kiwi in the wild because they were nocturnal birds.

However, the Stewart Island kiwi was slightly different to its mainland counterpart because they were often awake during the day.

The footage was captured at 8.41am on August 17 last year at Port Adventure, on the East coast of Rakiura, Stewart Island.