The Kererū, also known as the New Zealand Pigeon, is a large, vibrant bird with a distinctive appearance. They have a plump body, white belly, and iridescent green or blue-green feathers on their back and wings. The head and neck have a metallic sheen and a small crest on the top. Kererū have a slow, heavy flight and make a distinctive whooshing sound as they fly.
Kererū are found throughout New Zealand, including the North and South Islands and offshore islands. They inhabit various environments, including forests, coastal areas, and suburban gardens. They are particularly associated with native forests where their preferred food sources are abundant.
Kererū are primarily herbivorous birds with a diet consisting of leaves, fruits, flowers, and buds. They are crucial in seed dispersal, especially for native trees like karaka, tawa, and puriri. Their ability to consume large fruits and pass the seeds through their digestive system helps regenerate forests.
Kererū forms monogamous pairs during the breeding season. They build relatively flimsy nests made of twigs, placed in the forks of trees or on horizontal branches. The female usually lays a single white egg, and both parents participate in incubation and caring for the chick.
The Kererū is classified as a protected species in New Zealand. While their population is relatively stable, they face threats such as predation by introduced mammals, habitat loss, and collisions with human-made structures like windows and power lines. Conservation efforts focus on predator control, habitat preservation, and raising awareness about their importance in ecosystems.
Kererū are attracted to various native trees and plants that provide them with essential food sources. They feed on the leaves, fruits, and flowers of trees such as tawa, karaka, puriri, kahikatea, and nikau palms. These trees often have large fruit or fleshy parts that Kererū easily consumes.