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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 04/16/2010

National Zoo's new kiwi is a girl

By Washington Post editors

kiwi.jpg

Officials at the National Zoo announced Thursday that the baby kiwi that hatched March 31 is a girl.

"This news is exciting because there are more than twice as many male brown kiwis outside New Zealand as females — 27 males, and 12 females, plus a chick whose sex is unknown at the Berlin Zoo," wrote keeper Kathy Brader on the zoo's kiwi page. Brader said the female kiwi has a great deal of personality and chatters like a squeaky toy.

This female kiwi is also "genetically valuable because her father, Maori, is a wild-caught
bird so his genes are not well represented in the captive population," Brader wrote.

The kiwi keeper also delivered this good news: "We have another kiwi egg! Nessus laid her second egg of the season on April 7. Maori is incubating the egg nicely, and we will not pull it for at least 30 days. Hopefully we will have two kiwi chicks this year, which would be a first for the Zoo!"

(In the world of the kiwi, the male bird is responsible for incubating the egg.)

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By Washington Post editors  | April 16, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Tags:  New Zealand  
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