AGM 2019

Date posted: 09-Sep-2019

Our Annual General Meeting was held at 7:30 pm on Monday 23rd September at the F..

More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

Kereru / New Zealand Pigeon

Scientific name:

 Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae novaeseelandiae

Common Name:

 New Zealand pigeon, kererū



Conservation status:

 Endemic. Not threatened

Mainland status:

 Widespread and locally common

Size:  51cm, 650g


 10 years possibly


 September - February


 Herbivorous - mainly fruit

The kererū is the largest pigeon in New Zealand and the fifth largest in the world. The head, throat, upper breast and upperparts are a metallic green with a purplish sheen. The upper breast is shaped like a baby's bib and clearly stands out against the pristine white of the lower breast and underparts. The bill is crimson with an orange tip and both the eye and feet are crimson. The call is a soft penetrating 'kuu'.

Kererū are herbivorous, and although they will eat foliage and flowers, they love to eat fruit. The favoured fruits are miro, pigeonwood, pūriri, taraire, and tawa, but coprosma, elder, hangehange, kahikatea, karaka, nīkau, and tītoki are also eaten. Their love of fruit is a clue to their ancestry. Although they are often referred to a 'wood pigeons', this is a misnomer which originates in their superficial resemblance, in size and shape, to European woodpigeons. In fact they are more closely related to the fruit doves of Australia. They perform an important ecological function in native forests, because they are the only birds that can swallow whole the large seeds of trees such as taraire and karaka.

Breeding takes place between September and February and is timed to coincide with certain fruits being available. The nest is a flimsy affair, often a precariously balanced platform of sticks on a horizontal fork. Often the egg or chick can be seen from the ground through the nest. Both adults incubate for about 30 days and the young kererū fledge at between 30 and 45 days old.

There was no need to introduce kererū to Tiritiri Matangi because they fly easily and frequently between the Island and the mainland. As the forest on the Island has matured, they have been seen in increasing numbers, and are often to be seen resting on a pūriri branch after gorging themselves on the fruit.

Learn more about kererū at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Simon Fordham © (right) and Dr Kerry Rodgers © (left)

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.