Kiwis and keas, by David

New Zealand is a beautiful country, full of lush scenery. It is composed of 2 islands, the South and the North island.

The country has its national bird, the kiwi. It’s brown in color, with a long straight beak. This bird is pretty strange, seeing its legs are not round the middle of his body, but rather at the back. This means that even though it’s a small bird (no larger than a seagull, but much fatter), it can outrun a human! Like some other birds, it can’t fly. One of the reasons probably is that it has no natural predators. Though imported stoats and ferrets now cause a danger for it. It is a nocturnal bird, which makes it very hard to see one. We saw one in a glass globe which recreated a nocturnal environment.

We also saw keas, which seem to be some sort of mix between a hawk and a parrot. It has the same beak as a parrot, and has brown/green feathers, which makes it look slightly moldy. It is native to the south island.

There are surprisingly big amount of hawks/falcons/eagles in New Zealand. It’s a real treat seeing them fly and swoop.

I saw an albatross, which is the biggest sea birds in the world. They have a wingspan of about three meters. These wings are mainly used for gliding, and through this they can go up to 115km/s!

They fly an average of 1800km/day, that makes about 75km/h, that makes about 1.25km/min, that makes about 0.020833333333…km/s. When they’re first born, they stay about 1 year on land, then they fly for 5 years without ever going on land. They are fertile from 12 years of age, and can live about 90 years, if not killed by fishermen or sharks.

We saw quite a few seals, and got to less than a meter from one of them! They have extraordinarily big canines, and when we zoomed in to its mouth, we saw that its teeth were little more than red stubs (maybe covered in blood).

These are some of the wonderful animals we saw in New Zealand.

2 Responses

  1. Have you ever read ‘alone on a wide wide sea’ by Micheal Morpurgo? It is about seafarers and albatrosses. They are good luck to sailors. Maybe they will bring you good fortune?

  2. Seagulls can live up to 90 years old ! that’s a lot !

    nice photos , by the way.

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