SUCH is the name of the strange-looking bird seen in the picture on this page. Its home is in New Zealand.

Get out your maps, and see where that is. Once this bird was very common, but now it is rarely seen.

It is very shy. In the day time it hides in deep recesses among the rocks, or among tree roots, or the tall ferns that grow in that country. It can run very fast indeed, and so it is hard to catch.  As you would suppose by looking at this picture, the bird has no tail. As for wings, it has two little stumps, mere apologies; but it cannot fly with them, neither do they aid it in running. Scientists have called the bird the apteryx, or wingless bird.

The feathers are of a chestnut brown color.

Its beak is long and curved. The nostrils are small, and set on each side of the tip, so that the bird does, not have to depend on its eyes alone, when searching for its food; but it can smell the bugs and worms, just as some animals do. It has a curious way of jumping and striking the ground with its powerful feet, to attract the bugs and worms, of which it is so fond, to the top of the ground. Then it can, by means of its long bill, reach down into the soft earth, and get the food it needs.

It lays monstrous eggs, weighing fourteen or fifteen ounces. The bird itself weighs only four pounds, and is two feet in height. You may be sure it does not lay these eggs very often.

You would not think that people would care to hunt for such a homely bird, would you! The New Zealanders think a great deal of it. They go out at night, and hunt for it with torches and spears. Its skin is very tough, but yet it is flexible.

The native chiefs value it very highly, and out of it make the mantles that they wear on state occasions. They are very unwilling to part with these cloaks, even when offered large sums of money for them,



W. E. L.