May 24th, 2011
08:16 AM ET

Rare white kiwi hatched in New Zealand

Manukura is a white variant, not an albino, a ranger said. The bird was hatched earlier this month.

New Zealand's national wildlife center is crowing about the appearance of Manukura, the only all-white kiwi chick among this year's large brood of 14.

The white bird hatched on May 1 at Pukaha Mount Bruce wildlife center, the highlight of the most successful breeding season since kiwi were reintroduced into the wild there in 2003, according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

"As far as we know, this is the first all-white chick to be hatched in captivity," Pukaha Mount Bruce Board Chairman Bob Francis said in a news release.

This is the first breeding season to include birds 30 of them, none white brought to Pukaha from Little Barrier Island to diversify the gene pool, he said.

"The kiwi population on Little Barrier Island has birds with white markings and some white kiwi, but this was still a big surprise," Francis said.

The center managed to hatch and release just 10 chicks between 2005 and last year, but the newcomers produced a bumper crop, the center reported.

"This first breeding season involving the Little Barrier kiwi has far exceeded expectations," Francis said. "Faster breeding is exactly what was intended by the transfer, but we're blown away by the number of chicks produced so quickly."

Although it's their national bird, few New Zealanders have ever seen a kiwi in the wild, according to an educational website. The flightless, nocturnal birds grow to 3 to 9 pounds, about the size of a chicken.

Manukura's name means "of chiefly status" in the Maori language, according to the center.

"Every now and then something extraordinary comes along to remind you of how special life is," said Jason Kerehi, the Rangitane tribe's chief executive and a Pukaha board member, in the news release. "While we're celebrating all 14 kiwi hatched this year, Manukura is a very special gift."

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Filed under: Animals • Birds • Environment • New Zealand
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. llamacutus of borg

    O.M.G. Stirges are REAL. KILL it quick before it drinks your blood

    May 24, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. elcucuy

    @huh my point exactly

    May 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Shane

    White kiwis taste quite different to normal kiwis...

    May 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. fritz

    What the hell? I thought kiwis were extinct! I learned that as a child. I'm a little embarrassed at my ignorance. I guess they were just gone from the wild? Anyway, WONDERFUL! A white kiwi? Very cool! I hope they have a good place, hopefully, a protected island where these marvelous creatures can go on living. This article got me teary eyed. I guess I'm just a sucker for flightless birdies.

    May 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Juicemaster

    ...they even come with their own straw!

    May 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. bobcat2u

    What's up CNN censor people. You take my post off that doesn't contain anything offensive, yet you will allow posts that have all kinds of filth. Seems to me like your priorities are all screwed up. Not watch this not get posted for telling the truth.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Alien

    It will taste delicious with hot sauce and black bean sauce sprinkled with assparagus....yumm

    May 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Silvius

    I just wanna know if tastes good.

    May 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Silvius

    You think so, Alien? Never tried a brown one..

    May 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Martyr2

    I find it hard to believe that most New Zealanders have never seen a Kiwi in the wild. I took a trip there and kiwi education was everywhere! I also went and saw a Kiwi like 9 different times including at least 2 or 3 times in large nature reserves which is pretty much as close to "wild" as you can get since they have to protect kiwis from introduced predators.

    May 24, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. kim

    Ive been looking for a stylish pair of white leather boots but have not find them yet oh I got the kiwi leather boot polish. Whats this blog about birds that are rare yea its probably not just we had to save it after bringing to the brink of extinction typical then act amaze about a white bird whatever.

    May 24, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. kim

    Ive been looking for a stylish pair of white leather boots but have not find them yet oh I got the kiwi leather boot polish. Whats this blog about birds that are rare yea its probably not just we had to save it after bringing It to the brink of extinction typical then act amaze about a white bird whatever.

    May 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Cricket

    Oh come on Kim. Are you a member of the Tea Party movement? On the one hand you act so concerned about the animal kingdom. Then without missing a breath, you remark that you want some leather boots? How distasteful. Do you know that leather comes from dead cows? You must be a big fan of Sarah Palin. How disgusting!

    May 25, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. omgomg!!!

    KIM JONG IL's CRAZY LOVE LIFE http://losangeles.ibtimes.com/articles/151589/20110524/kim-jong-il-love-life-romance-wives.htm

    May 25, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
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