Rowi, white Kiwi

The Rowi has only recently been identified as a distinct species - in 2003. It is distinguished from the brown Kiwi by its soft and slightly greyish plumage, sometimes accompanied by white facial feathers.

It is critically endangered and is found only in the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary which covers about 11,000 hectares of dense lowland forest between Okarito and the Waiho River.

The white Kiwi was reared on predator free Motuara Island in Queen Charlotte Sound and was taken to a new home in Okarito Forest on the West Coast of the South Island by conservation Officer, Lyn Adams.

Brick red and very dark brown, almost black, individuals, are rarer than white Kiwi.

Sub Species:

Other common names:  — 

Description:  — 

Endemic bird

Where to find:  — 

Okarito Sanctuary.

Youtube video  — 


Poetry:  — 

Under the roots of a tree,
Hidden, oh hidden deep,
Safe from the prying sun,
Huddled the Kiwis sleep.

But when the night flies down,
And stars slip through the pool,
Out from the roots they creep,
Into the twilight cool.

And the oldest bird of the tribe,
Calls them before his face,
And tells from his proud old beak,
The wonder of their race.

Children, who now are small,
Hearken, oh hearken well,
For you are kin of kings,
Hatched of a mighty shell.

Dwarfs of a giant strain,
Leaves of a smitten tree,
Shards of a dying star,
Kin of the Moa, we.

So when ye thrid the swamp,
Cool on the twilight term,
Spearing the secret earth,
For stir of the hidden worm.

Remember our lonely pride,
So old that no man knows
Where or whence we have come,
Old as the wind that blows.

Old as the twilight sky,
Hearken, oh Kiwis well,
For ye are kin of kings,
Hatched of a mighty shell.

 — Eileen Duggan

Credit for the photograph: — 


Marlborough Express

Page date & version: — 


Thursday, 4 July 2019; ver2009v1


©  2005    Narena Olliver,    new zealand birds limited,     Greytown, New Zealand.