New Zealand pigeon (kerurū)

Last Modified: 4-3-2022 11:57

© Christopher Cookson  License this image

Kerurū (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) are a large endemic pigeon species, found throughout New Zealand particularly in areas of native forest. These large pigeons can also be found in urban areas and amongst exotic forest as long as there is a suitable food source.

Keruru are herbivorous, eating all parts of suitable plants including flowers, buds, fruit, and leaves. They have adapted to eating a number of introduced plant species, so habitat loss is less of an issue than predation from introduced pest species. Due to their large beaks, they are the only bird able to swallow a number of types of fruit whole, making them important in the distribution of many native plant species. Keruru were once an important food source for Māori, however due to decline in numbers, they are now fully protected.

Kerurū can be found throughout Marlborough, and can frequently be seen in the Marlborough Sounds and Mount Richmond Forest Park, in addition to other areas of native bush.

The example illustrated was observed at Onamalutu Scenic Reserve.

Image Date: 12/7/2018

Photographer: Christopher Cookson

Location: Latitude: -41.459335 Longitude: 173.704803

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