She’s one laid-back chick.
The Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, along with the Embassy of New Zealand in the United States are asking the public to help name her.
“Keepers describe the chick as fairly calm and laid-back, though she could become more cautious as she matures,” the institute says.
The chick hatched between July 29 and July 30 to parents Ngati Hine Tahi and Ngati Hine Rua. Both parents were gifts from New Zealand.
The flightless, nocturnal birds are sacred to the Maori people in New Zealand. The institute even repatriates feathers molted from its kiwi to New Zealand.
The bird are native to New Zealand, where they are considered endangered due to non-native predators introduced by people. Back in 1975, the institute made history becoming the first facility to hatch a brown kiwi outside New Zealand.
Since 2012, it has helped hatch six kiwi eggs.
Brown kiwi are monogamous and usually mate for life.
And this chick is the fifth offspring for her parents, but this bird is their first female chick.
— Tim Groser (@NZAmbassadorUS) August 8, 2017
And experts quickly learned a thing or two about her.
Mealworms are her preferred food and, in the past three months, she has tripled her weight to a normal 2 pounds (908 grams) for her age.
“Since kiwi are nocturnal, she spends most of her day sleeping and only interacts with keepers during routine health checks and weigh-ins,” keepers said.
You can enter a name until Nov. 5 at 11 p.m. EST with these parameters in mind:
- Significance to Maori culture and the country of New Zealand
- Connection to kiwi biology and facts about the species
- Tie to field of conservation biology and the need to preserve, study and help save species like the endangered kiwi
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) November 1, 2017
The public will then get to vote.
The top suggestions via the zoo’s Twitter account @NationalZoo from Nov. 13-16.
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) November 2, 2017