New Zealand Pigeon

This is our beautiful New Zealand Pigeon which we’re privileged to see quite often down south. We see them in both urban and rural areas where there is bush nearby. They like to perch on powerlines so we often see them from the road in places like The Catlins (rural) or Dunedin (city). It’s also easy to find them in Dunedin Botanic Garden or Queens Park in Invercargill. Their botanic name is Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae, the Maori name is kereru, and sometimes it is called a wood pigeon. It is endemic to New Zealand.

Nigel got these these photos when we visited Maple Glen Garden on 06 October 2019. Glenham, Southland, New Zealand.

I cropped this first image for a closer view, from the photo that appears after.





If you’d like to read more about our NZ Pigeon:

New Zealand Pigeon – New Zealand Birds Online

—  text by Liz and photos by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2019)

22 thoughts on “New Zealand Pigeon

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    1. These were good for food but fortunately weren’t decimated before being protected. They seem to have adapted well to urban environments and it probably helps that they’re good fliers. They’re beautiful, love seeing them!

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    1. They are plump birds! You wouldn’t think they’d fly well but they’re very good at flying and can do aerial acrobatics. You’d also think they’d be easy to see but when you’re looking up into a tree they’re not easy to see at all. Even when they’re in the open (typically perched on a powerline) they easy to miss – once they’re settled they stay very still!

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    1. It’s a treat to see them a bit closer than usual. I think this one was aiming at leaf buds. In The Catlins there was a particular spot that had lots of willows near the highway, and at the right time of year there’d be heaps of native pigeons there. You could easily see them, just from the car!

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    1. These pigeons stay high in the trees or perched on powerlines. When perched they stay very still and you’re lucky to spot them. In flight their wings make a lot of noise and apparently they use this as a means of communication. Occasionally they make a soft cooing noise but on the whole they’re quiet.

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  1. Our pigeons are quite different in appearance, but they perform the same acrobatics in flight as these. It’s great fun to watch flocks of them wheeling and turning, and fun to see them when they come for water, but these are far more attractive.

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    1. We’ve seen groups of these birds when a popular food source is ripe for picking (say around 30) but they have the appearance of acting as individuals within the group (rather than being particularly social).

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    1. These are awesome birds Mike. Don’t be fooled by the plump body either, they do great aerial acrobatics when they want to.. flying up high then stalling in mid-air and plummeting down at speed. They need lots of space – it’s quite a performance! We saw them regularly from home when we lived in The Catlins.

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