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Natives

New Zealand Pigeon

new zealand pigeon

Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae (also known as Kereru)

Distribution:

Throughout New Zealand

Habitat:

Forests and some urban areas, with sufficient roosting and feeding areas

Diet:

Seeds, large fruits, flowers, leaf shoots

Breeding:

October - March

Nest:

A shallow platform, usually 2-6m above the ground, made of loosely intertwined sticks which will be continually added to;no nest lining

Eggs:

One egg incubated for 29-30 days - If the egg is lost another may be laid if early in the season

Chicks:

Stays in nest for 11-12 weeks. Fed on creamy protein-rich liquid called 'pigeon milk' which parents secrete from the wall of their crop. This is gradually replaced with regurgitated fruit. Fledge around 40-45 days.

Predators:

New Zealand falcons, introduced mammals, humans

Conservation status:

Near threatened – poor breeders, these birds require protection from hunting and safe habitats to build up numbers

General:

This endemic species is an important seed-spreader in the forest, and several native tree species rely on the kereru for survival. In the past humans killed many, and illegal poaching still continues.