As I was working in the garden this morning we had a visit from these two beautiful Kereru, also know as the native New Zealand Wood Pigeon. These are the largest pigeons in the world and in the past they were a prized food source for the Maori people, but these magnificent birds are protected today. They are under threat from predators like rats and stoats, so the work we do with our trapline, helps the Kereru as much as it helps Kiwis.
Kereru eat the fruit, leaves, twigs buds and shoots of more than 100 different native plants and sometimes they gorge themselves so heavily on ripe fruit, that the fermenting fruit makes them quite drunk, and they have even been known to fall out of trees.
These birds are very important to the survival of New Zealand forests, because they are the only birds left (the others are all extinct) that are big enough to swallow the large fruits of native trees such as Taraire and Karaka. The seeds in the Kereru droppings establish the trees in new areas and keep the forest rejuvenated.
These two guys were feeding on the blossoms of a plum tree and were happy to sit there while I took some photos.