New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1991) 15(2): 163- 166

Incubation Temperatures of Great Spotted Kiwi, Apteryx haastii

Research Article
J. A. McLennan  
A. J. McCann  
  1. DSIR Land Resources, Private Bag, Havelock, New Zealand

Incubation temperatures of the great spotted kiwi were studied by telemetry methods at the Otorohanga Zoological Society in October 1989. The male maintained the core temperature of the egg at about 28-31.8-degrees-C. When he emerged to feed at night, the female started to incubate. She did not have a brood patch, but could heat the egg to 28-28.5-degrees-C, sufficient for embryo growth. Some of the reasons why female great spotted kiwi might help with incubation are discussed. In cold, mountain environments, the energetic costs of incubation could be so high that males alone cannot meet them. The hypothesis predicts that there are also places in the North Island where female brown kiwi (Apteryx australis mantelli) should share in incubation.