Kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae)
The Kereru is New Zealand's only native pigeon. They are a long lived, slow breeding species. The loss of Kereru would have massive implications on New Zealand's large podocarps (karaka and taraire) as they are the only bird still in existence that is capable of dispersing the seeds. The fruit of these large trees ferment in their stomachs and as a result they can appear 'drunk'.
The Kereru is a large bird. Their head, throat, and upper breast is a metallic green with a purplish sheen. They have a white vest, crimson eyes and feet, and a red-orange bill.
At the Park they can be seen in the blueberry ash trees on autumn mornings and any of the mature trees, if you are lucky you may spot them drinking from the water trough in the paddock beside the restaurant. Kereru are found in most lowland forest.
The Kereru is an important herbivore for New Zealand's native forests dispersing seeds via their droppings. They also eat leaves, buds and flowers.
NZ Pigeons have a soft 'ku ku' call but you will often hear the heavy wing beats before you will see the bird or hear a call.