Kererū / NZ pigeon
The New Zealand pigeon, or kererū, is one of the largest pigeons in the world.
In the Abel Tasman kererū follow the food – it loves fruit from a variety of native shrubs and trees. Wineberry and coprosma are available early in the summer as the birds begin to nest. The kererū then moves on to a range of podocarps, with miro providing the last of the fruit in winter. When the miro stops fruiting these birds must resort to eating foliage, with only some plants proving attractive. Introduced species such as broom, fruit trees, plane trees and poplar are all visited.
You will probably hear its noisy wingbeats before you see it, and will then notice its distinctive white breast perched high in the forest. Kererū’s beautiful emerald green and white feathers were used in some of New Zealand’s finest Māori cloaks.
Kererū play an important role in the dispersal of forest plants and re-establishing trees in areas that have been logged or burnt. They feed on the fruit of trees like miro, tawa and nīkau, dispersing their seed around the Park.
Bird calls courtesy of NZ birds online
Photo courtesy of Ruth Bollongino www.fernphotos.com