The New Zealand Pigeon, often known by its Maori name Kereru, or colloquially as woodpigeon,  is a large and conspicuous part of New Zealand’s avifauna. As pigeons go it is very large, measuring up to 50 cm, and it is one of two species of pigeon endemic to New Zealand. Together with the other, the very closely related Parea of the Chatham Islands, it comprises the genus Hemiphaga. Unlike the rare Parea the Kereru is a relatively common species as does particularly well around Wellington, where they are often seen flying round in search of fruit and leaves.

Kereru or New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaseelandiae) are also very attractive birds.

Feeding on very small leaves

 Where introduced predators are controlled they even feed on the ground.

 They positively shine in sunlight

Sitting on a pot used to boil whale fat in the past


If you liked these images make sure to head on over to 10,000 Clicks, the 10,000 Birds photo-galleries page, and see our growing collection of galleries.

Written by Duncan
Duncan Wright is a Wellington-based ornithologist working on the evolution of New Zealand's birds. He's previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia. He came into studying birds rather later in life, and could quit any time he wants to.