New Zealand Pigeon

Maori Name: 
Kereru
Scientific Name: 
Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae
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51 cm, 650 g (mainland); 55 cm, 800 g (Chathams). Largest pigeon in NZ. Head, throat, upper breast and upperparts metallic green with purplish sheen and bronze reflections, especially around neck (mainland), or with ashy-grey wash (Chathams); sharp line separates upper breast from white lower breast, belly and legs. Eye crimson; bill red with orangish tip; feet crimson. Juvenile similar, but upperparts duller, smudgy upper breast, dull bill and feet, and often the tail is shorter. In flight, strong steady wingbeats, broad rounded wings and long broad tail; noisy swish of wings is distinctive. Call a single soft penetrating ''kuu''. Habitat: Native forests, especially in lowland areas, scrub, forest patches among farmland, rural and city gardens and parks. Breeding: Variable, depending on availability of ripe fruit; usually Oct-Apr.

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