The Strange Kiwi

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
A strange bird called the kiwi is found only in New Zealand. Since it hides in its burrow until late evening or night, many people living there have never seen one. Its name comes from its call, "kee wee," that is only heard as it moves about in the darkness.
This is the smallest of all birds that cannot fly, while the ostrich is the largest. Although it is a true bird, it looks something like an animal without a tail and even has cat-like whiskers. It is about the size of a chicken and is covered with pretty, soft, gray and brown feathers. It has strong legs and feet and can run rapidly through the undergrowth. It moves silently except for a little hissing noise it makes when hunting or its occasional piercing "kee wee, kee wee" cry.
The Creator did not forget to give the kiwi the ability to fly. Instead, as mentioned in the opening verse, He took pleasure in forming it just the way it is and gave it special ability to live on the ground. Since worms and underground insects are its main food, it has been given an unusually long, strong bill to dig with. It hunts mostly in moist or swampy ground where the digging is easiest. Every other bird has nostrils at the base of its bill, but the kiwi's nostrils are out on the end of its bill. What do you think is the reason for this? Those who have studied this bird believe it smells the food it is searching for through these openings on its bill. Its small eyes do not see much in the dark, but its keen sense of smell enables it to find all its food, including snails, berries and certain other vegetation.
If the kiwi were capable of thinking and talking, it would tell us, "No, God did not leave out any necessary thing. He has given me all I need to thrive and prosper." And it does prosper. Burrowing under the roots of a tree, a pair builds a nest and lines it with leaves and grass. The female usually lays just one very large, white egg, which weighs one-fourth as much as the kiwi itself! The kiwi's egg is the largest in proportion to its size of any bird on earth.
After the female lays her egg, the male incubates it. For over two months he stays on the nest, only eating and drinking on quick trips outside, while waiting for the chick to hatch. The hatched chick is covered with soft, dark fuzz called "down." After only a few days the chick wanders off to make its own way, and the parents seem to forget about it.
God watches over these strange birds, just as He does over all His creatures. We are also part of His wonderful creation, but unlike the birds and animals, we have a responsibility to Him as to what we do with our lives. He gives us good instructions. Here are several: "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth" (Eccl. 12:11Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; (Ecclesiastes 12:1)); "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:5-65Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5‑6)). Are you doing these things?