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About the Kereru:
Since the extinction of the moa, the native pigeon is now the only seed disperser with a bill big enough to swallow large fruit, such as those of karaka, tawa and taraire.
New Zealand pigeon/kererū,
Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay
It also eats leaves, buds and flowers, the relative amounts varying seasonally and regionally, eg in Northland the birds eat mostly fruit.
Kererū are large birds and can measure up to 51 cm from tail to beak, and weigh about 650 gms.
Long-lived birds, they breed slowly. Key breeding signals are spectacular display flights performed mainly by territorial males. They nest mainly in spring/early summer producing only one egg per nest, which the parents take turns to look after during the 28-day incubation period.
The chick grows rapidly, leaving the nest when about 40 days old. It is fed “pigeon milk”, a protein-rich milky secretion from the walls of the parents’ crops, mixed with fruit pulp. When much fruit is available, some pairs of kererū will have a large chick in one nest and be incubating an egg in another nearby. Fledglings spend about two weeks with their parents before becoming fully independent, but have remained with their parents during autumn and winter in some cases.