Features the North Island Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli).
Buller said : "A full and complete history of the remarkable wingless birds which, even to the present day, form the most distinctive feature in the avifauna of New Zealand, would necessarily fill a volume...The Kiwi is in some measure compensated for the absence of wings by its swiftness of foot. When running it makes wide strides and carries the body in an oblique position, with the neck stretched to its full extent and inclined forwards. In the twilight it moves about cautiously and as noiselessly as a rat, to which, indeed, at this time it bears some outward resemblance. In a quiescent posture, the body generally assumes a perfectly rotund appearance; and it sometimes, but only rarely, supports itself by resting the point of its bill on the ground. It often yawns when disturbed in the daytime, gaping its mandibles in a very grotesque manner. When provoked it erects the body, and, raising the foot to the breast, strikes downwards with considerable force and rapidity, thus using its sharp and powerful claws as weapons of defence...While hunting for its food the bird makes a continual sniffing sound through the nostrils, which are placed at the extremity of the upper mandible."
Walter Buller KCMG (1838 - 1906) was a New Zealand lawyer and naturalist. His work, "A History of the Birds of New Zealand", was first published in 1873 and as an extended version in 1888. It is regarded as a classic of ornithology and New Zealand wildlife and describes several now extinct birds.
The artist who illustrated the birds was John Gerrard Keulemanns, regarded as one of the finest wildlife illustrators of all time.