, Volume 170, Issue 6, pp 687-689

Focusing and accommodation in the brown kiwi (Apteryx australis)

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Brown kiwis are an endangered species of nocturnal, flightless birds which are native to New Zealand. The resting focus of two specimens has previously been studied by retinoscopy in a zoo while the birds were restrained by their keeper (Sivak and Howland 1987). Those birds appeared to be hyperopic (farsighted) by 2–7 D. In this study, examination with infrared photorefraction of the focusing of two unrestrained, feeding birds showed that they could focus objects at infinity and objects in their immediate environment and that they had modest powers of accommodation. Measurements on two 6 month old kiwi chicks showed their corneal radius of curvature to be between 2.90 and 3.00 mm (117 D and 101 D in power).