ecoBirdy's Kiwi Container design, inspired by the bird species

The Origin Story of Our Kiwi Container

The playful shape of Kiwi Container is suggestive of a kiwi bird, and its removable beak opens the body for storage. Of course, there is more to this design than just functionality. At ecoBirdy, all designs are created with meaning. 

Kiwi, New Zealand’s native and national bird, is really a unique creature. Designer Vanessa Yuan whose family lives in the country, has been fascinated by the following intriguing facts:  

  • Kiwi birds have wings, but they can’t fly. They didn't need to fly to survive in the past because there weren't any land mammal predators before man arrived to New Zealand 1000 years ago.
  • Their feathers strongly resemble fur, and form a perfect camouflage to hide from predators.
  • They only make one egg at a time
  • Its egg is about six times larger than other birds’. Kiwi is the land bird that lays the biggest egg compared to its body size
  • It is the only bird in the world with nostrils at the end of its beak. They are nocturnal birds, nevertheless they have very poor vision in the dark. They are guided by their powerful senses of touch, smell, and sound instead.

Those fun facts about the kiwi bird got Joris Vanbriel and Vanessa Yuan fantasising about making a container in the shape of this adorable animal. 

Decline of kiwi populations

Kiwi used to be a very common and thriving bird species in Aotearoa (New Zealand). In fact, it is believed that today’s kiwi evolved from one ancestor that lived about 50 million years ago: a proto-kiwi. But in the last few centuries, the large-scale clearing of forest and introduced predators have caused habitats to shrink and kiwi populations to fragment and decline. The primary threat to the survival of kiwi is posed by stoats, ferrets, and weasels, followed by cats and dogs. According to The National Kiwi Hatchery, only 5% of all Kiwis hatched in the wild survive to adulthood.

According to Save the Kiwi, it's thought that at one point there were approximately 12 million kiwi, but since 1998 their population has dropped to fewer than 100,000 birds. By 2008, that number decreased even further to around 70,000. Today, an estimated 68,000 kiwis remain, and unmanaged kiwi populations continue to decline at a rate of 2% each year.


Drawing of the kiwi bird

Conservation efforts

Fortunately, there are great initiatives dedicated to protecting the kiwi bird. In areas where kiwi are being monitored and managed, the situation is improving and many populations are stable or growing. Even so, many kiwi live outside of conservation areas and these communities are likely to keep declining. As populations decrease and fragment, sex ratios become imbalanced, leading to a further decline in the effective breeding population. This trend could possibly lead to extinction.

Officially, not all kiwi species are currently listed as endangered, such as the North Island brown kiwi. In 2017 The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species upgraded the status of two species from “endangered” to “vulnerable” because of a steady increase in population.

By spreading awareness and embracing sustainable practices, we can ensure a brighter future for the kiwi and all endangered species. It’s our responsibility to cherish and preserve the wonders of our natural world for generations to come.

As we reflect on the story of the beloved kiwi bird and its battle against extinction, ecoBirdy’s Kiwi Container design serves as both a functional decor item, and a symbol of hope and awareness. ecoBirdy developed special colours for the Kiwi Containers, inspired by New Zealand’s nature. The blue-green colour ‘Paua’ comes from a typical shell in Māori’s language. 

Kid playing with Kiwi Container Paua - ecoBirdy



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