Kererū, The New Zealand (Wood) Pigeon

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.

Beautiful and important New Zealand (wood) pigeon eating away on my trees.

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.

Eating away. Every day, at least twice.

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…

Spot the two kereru.

5 thoughts on “Kererū, The New Zealand (Wood) Pigeon”

  1. They are truely quite magnificent birds mate and we are actually lucky enough to have a couple of pairs that frequent the trees around our house. Never get tired of watching them do their thing.

    1. Yeah, cool birds alright. Although, a bit strange, they don’t sing or ‘talk’. Got a pack of resident kingfishers here, too. The other day I went outside to have a piss at night and there were two banded rails walking right by the entrance door and my cat, also sitting outside, couldn’t be bothered. It’s a good thing, I haven’t seen him bring in any birds or so for a long, long, long time. Kills rats all the time and some sort of lizard. He loses his voice when he ate a lizard; quite funny.
      I’ve seen them rails around on my site lately a bit more. I would have thought that they make themselves scarce like the rabbits.

  2. They are indeed fine looking birds (licking of lips!). I wouldn’t be too impressed with them savaging my fruit trees I have to say, but I guess it’s the same for me with different creatures and it is nice to watch the wildlife having a good time.

    I guess you could net the trees you need to protect, but that’s a lot of work and you would probably have to prune them to the right size first. Do they attack the veg garden too? Paul xxxxx

    1. As you say, netting is a lot of work. The thing is that they eat the leaves and flowers, too. There is nothing to attack in the vege garden at the moment, but the snails are giving me a hard time alright. Wonder where they hide, because there are 100s of them out at night eating on germinated seeds and little seedlings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *