Written by Marjorie

Meet the Kereru, New Zealand’s Pigeon

Meet the Kereru, New Zealand’s Pigeon

I took a picture of the Kereru with my telephoto lens and it came out so well I thought you would like to see the only pigeon endemic to the New Zealand mainland. It takes a mean selfie eh?

  • Endemic: ‘native to a certain region’

The Kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae in Latin), is a substantial bird and I hope you can get the impression of its size from my photo.

The kereru New Zealand's pigeon

The bird reminds me of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. It has substance, shoulders like a top athlete, and a lot of style. It also has dazzling iridescent touches to its grey and green feathers which I hope you can see. You can get an idea of its distinctive head shape in the distance shot below, and maybe an impression of this weighty bird.

As well as its good looks, the Kereru has a very distinctive wing beat. You can hear it a long way away and high in the sky.

The Kereru Drama

Some years ago I was working indoors on my computer and I heard the distinctive wingbeat of a Kereru passing overhead. Then I heard a loud ‘WHUMP’ and the tinkling of glass. I ran outside to find our garage window in pieces and a slightly stunned pigeon sitting inside near the car.

I checked on the dazed bird and it was alive so I left it alone as it did not seem injured. After a few minutes (while I was sweeping up the glass and keeping cats away) the Kereru flew off, leaving me to board up the garage’s empty space and book a glazier to replace the window!

the kereru NZ Pigeon
Kereru NZ Pigeon

The bird is special, but thankfully not endangered.

It joins the Finches, Yellowhammers Blackbirds and Sparrows that frequent our garden, especially during the winter when they get plenty to eat from our special bird feeders.

Welcome Home Sawyer!

After nine endlessly long days, the Kitties Blue welcomed home lost cat Sawyer. He was found safely, not too far away thanks to the posters, flyers and publicity generated by his Mum Janet and Dad Tom. He is now at home, and you can catch up at the link (although I suspect he may be a selfie this week!)

To say the cat blogosphere is relieved is something of an understatement. The celebrations as word got around that Sawyer Blue was safe and sound were lud and long. No one wanted him lost and the encouragement and suggestions of many readers showed how much people really care for this grey tabby boy.

22 thoughts on “Meet the Kereru, New Zealand’s Pigeon”

  1. Oh wow, this bird looks so incredible. I’m not only impressed by the size but the colouring in those green feathers… It looks amazing in the picture. I can’t even imagine how breathtaking that would have been to see in person. Nature never fails to amaze me.

  2. What a handsome bird! That first photo is gorgeous! I’m glad that Kereru that broke your window was okay and relieved that Sawyer is home.

  3. Such a beautiful bird! Thank you for sharing. I have never seen this kind of bird before. We have pigeons here, but they are not quite that big and beautiful. I’m glad to hear that that one that encountered your garage was okay and that you were too.

    So happy to hear that Sawyer found his way home! I had heard that he was missing. That had to have been so stressful. What a relief to have him home.

    • Sawyer’s disappearance had the whole cat blogosphere a nervous wreck for days! I am just glad he got home and life can be ‘normal’ for the Kitties Blue again!

  4. I’ve never heard of this bird before. As a Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson fan I had to giggle as you described him, but will admit he does have the broad shoulder and the good looks. He’s a handsome pigeon and the most colorful I’ve ever seen. I’m so happy to hear that Sawyer has been reunited with his family too. Good news.

  5. The Kereu is the prettiest pigeon I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely prettier and more handsome than “The Rock”.

    It is always scary when a bird hits a window. I’ve had that happen a few times. It always sends me rushing to see what on earth happened. Glad your Kereu was okay.

  6. What a nice photo, and the Kereru is a beautiful bird. In the US a lot of people seem to dislike our pigeons, but I’ve always thought they were pretty and enjoyed watching them when I lived in the city.

  7. Glad we can see the Kereru now as we had problems on our last visit. Thanks for the great photos of this fine Pige!

  8. Gorgeous bird! I had no idea there were different types of pigeons (I guess I’m the bird brain!)

    • MOL! Heck no. My favourite bird is the US Red Cardinal. I love the vivid colour but I don’t know much about it!

  9. What a hefty bird,and it’s absolutely beautiful! Glad the one that hit the window flew off and was okay.
    The kitties and I are just overjoyed that Sawyer is home safe now!

  10. That pigeon certainly is chunky. Taking a quick look and you would think it was two birds sat side by side by the size of it’s breast.

  11. What a magnificent bird is the Kereru!

    Puts our humble city pigeons to shame…and while our mourning doves are fairly large, they are tiny beside this species!

    You sure captured a beautiful picture of it!
    We too are in the crowd of rejoicing furmilies about Sawyer’s return to his home and family.

  12. That photo of the Kereru is awesome, Marjorie. We are glad the one that slammed into the glass was okay, even if the window was not.


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