"And then there was the noise -- a repetitive, high-pitched whistle by the males, and a coarser, raspier answer by the females. Their calls filled the forest.
Suddenly, there was rustling in the bush about 5 metres to our
left. Another false alarm, I thought, as our flashlights swarmed across the area until I finally saw movement. "There!" I gasped. And the kiwi, a knee-high bundle of dark, hairlike feathers, stepped into our makeshift spotlight.
It lunged with its long beak, using the nostrils at the end of it to snuffle through the leaves. An instant later, it was gone.
"Kill your lights," our guide Evan whispered. "And don't move." A moment later, the fern next to his boot shook, and the kiwi stepped onto the track. My heart flipped. The kiwi glanced at us, turned and waddled up the trail, its muscular legs supporting a squat, bristly backside.
Then it made an abrupt about-face and plodded toward us. It sniffed curiously at
Evan's boot, made another about-face, and ran up the track into the dark."