2021 Photo Competition

Date posted: 21-Jan-2021

2021 Photo Competition Now Open It is that time of year again when we are look..

Primary School Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

Dylan Lewis Y7 from Mahurangi College, Warkworth, being presented with the ..

Supporters of Tiritiri Inc and Fullers 360 Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

The NIWA Auckland City Science and Technology Fair winner of the Supporters of Tiritiri ..

2020 Conservation Week

Date posted: 12-Aug-2020

Meet the Takahē on Tiritiri Matangi Island When: 1:30 pm, ..

AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO WEDNESDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2020 due to Covid restrictions at t..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s Takahē Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

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.