The Kererū is allegedly in gradual decline and quite indeed an impressive pigeon, with its acrobatic twirls, noisy flight, beautiful colors and big size. Their conservation status is NT (nearly threatened), according to Wikipedia and other New Zealand sources. Due its large size it is one of the only birds that can digest and thus distribute large seeds and drupes. This explains why I have so many premature plum trees scattered all over the bush. They live in pairs and like to occupy the same area.
The kererū is protected and lately I’ve noticed at least three resident ones here. They eat away on leaves, buds and fruit (none here at the moment) in the morning and in the evenings. They are endangered due to man, cats, possums, rats and the such. I don’t necessarily believe conversationalists or ecologists because their methods of analyzing are often very crude. However, I can see why their numbers have been in decline since the arrival of people in New Zealand. They are bloody loud. Whilst flying they make this unmistakable hissing noise, their landing is often clumsy and you can see an entire branch of a tree shaking for minutes. Both a result of their big size. They certainly aren’t shy, if I pretend not to see them I can easily approach them and come as close as to 5 meters. I’ve also noticed that they are eating leaves, buds and flowers, which is a bit of a pain.
My fruit trees didn’t do well last year, except the plum trees, mainly due to neglect of the soil but also because these pigeons eat lots of flowers and buds, never giving the tree a good chance. Here’s the proof.
By the way, I’ve thought about this some years ago but you never see baby, or even small pigeons, do you? So what’s the story with that? Do pigeon babies grow quickly and once they can fly, their size is similar compared to the adult pigeons? Here is a link about Kereru and Great Barrier Island, it doesn’t have any information about baby pigeons though. Seriously, have you ever seen a picture of a baby pigeon?
Anyway, albeit them eating away on my trees, I have to say at least they don’t make annoying sounds all day. New Zealand Kākā, an endemic parrot eats away on my trees, too. They, however, wait until the fruit are clearly formed and pick on them weeks before they are ripe. And the worst thing, they scream all day. I think they live in gangs and have their territories and once other Kākā show up, they kind of gang bang on them. Not that kind of gang banging, the other. Similar to drive-by-shooting, they form flocks and attack non-gang-member birds in the air and abuse them with, what I believe to be, foul language. I’ve got many of them living here in the pine trees, but at the moment they are pretty quiet. They’ll be all over my place in the summer time and I’ll try to take a couple of photos.
Kākā is also a small village in Iran. Anyway, I thought this might be interesting to share. The weather is rubbish and has been like this for over a week. Rain, wind, cold, sun shine, then rain, wind and more cold. It’s rubbish today as well and I’m hanging to go fishing…