Little Spotted Kiwi

The little spotted kiwi or little gray kiwi, Apteryx owenii, is a small species of kiwi originally from New Zealand's South Island (they used to live near Marlborough and where tokoeka currently live). Around 1890 to 1910 a population of them was trans-located to Kapiti Island for conservation purposes. Little spotted kiwis are the smallest species of kiwi, at about 0.9 to 1.9 kg (2.0–4.2 lb), about the size of a bantam.

The little spotted kiwi is a ratite and belongs to the Apterygiormes Order, and the Apterygidae Family. Their binomial name Apteryx owenii breaks down to without wings and owenii which is named after Sir Richard Owen. Today, only the nominate subspecies A. o. owenii exists. The little-known and somewhat mysterious North Island little spotted kiwi A. o. iredalei from the North Island went extinct in the late 19th century.

The little spotted kiwi was first described in 1847 by John Gould from a specimen obtained by F. Strang. The locality is not recorded but it probably came from Nelson or Marlborough. In 1873, Henry Potts published an account of its habits and about this time specimens were collected in South Westland and sent to England.

The little spotted kiwi has a length of 35 to 45 cm (14–18 in) and the weight of the male is 0.9 to 1.3 kg (2.0–2.9 lb) and the female weighs 1 to 1.9 kg (2.2–4.2 lb), making it the smallest species of kiwi. Their feathers are pale-mottled gray, with fine white mottling, and are shaggy looking. They lack aftershafts and barbules. They have large vibrissae feathers around the gape. They lack a tail, but have a small pygostyle. Their bill is ivory and long and their legs are pale.