Friday Photo: 14 February

February 14th, 2014 at 8:51 am by Chthoniid

This native bird again, needs no introduction.  It’s the only mainland native pigeon species we have in NZ (the Chatham Islands has a related species).    One of the important roles it plays in native forests is seed dispersal.  Which does make the gradual decline of many populations of a concern.

The basic challenge to photographing this bird in the wild is that it likes being up in the tree canopies.  This means it’s very easy to get photographs of the birds backside, but being on the same level is correspondingly harder.  It also means you’re typically shooting in low light conditions.  That means a slow shutter speed with a big telephoto.

So these shot has been a while in the making.  The kereru is feeding on a cabbage tree and I’ve got a vantage point that is both at the same level, and close to the bird.  No need to do any aggressive cropping of the shot.

click for larger, higher res image

 

Hope everybody enjoys the end of their week.  I’m going to be on a high-volume espresso diet I think, to make it to the end of the day…

 

 

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18 Responses to “Friday Photo: 14 February”

  1. KathyS (18 comments) says:

    Gorgeous shot. The high res version is the best and closest I’ve ever been to a kereru! At home on the farm in Southland they were always in the kowhai tree on our lawn making a mess of the flowers!

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  2. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    You should have just come to our place in the Wairarapa – we frequently get two (and occasionally more) of them squabbling over the best branches of a cherry tree just over our back fence. Well maybe more so last summer, this year they seem to be somewhere else.

    Cherry trees are one of the most prolific weeds around here; the Kererus are so spoilt for choice that they are always dropping cherries that they can’t be bothered with eating. Certain times of year you’re more likely to tread on a bunch of rotten cherries than on chicken shit in our yard, and that’s saying something….

    [Love your work, as always!]

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  3. Brian Smaller (3,966 comments) says:

    Had a kereru on a suicide run come through the bedroom window late last year. His mate was distraught for a few days but she is a Wanganui chick and had another male on her wing in no time. We have two pairs that live in the trees around our house. Probably another dozen pairs close by. THey are incredibly inquisitive. I cannot work outside without them landing on nearby trees to see what I am up to. I love the whoop-whoop sound they make as they fly past. As far as seed dispersal goes – we have a lot of wild plums about courtesy of the local kereru.

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  4. Ed Snack (1,940 comments) says:

    Always worth watching out for, and don’t stand underneath one, their “output” can copious !

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  5. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    Thanks, Chthoniid. :)

    There was a decent number of these birds in the Percy’s Reserve bush area in Lower Hutt a few years back – and you could sure hear them coming from a long way off….

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  6. lolitasbrother (774 comments) says:

    Very nice wood pigeon. You can see why they like to eat them, big strong breast muscles

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  7. Viking2 (11,680 comments) says:

    Very nice picture and in a cabbage tree as well.
    Have noticed a lot more around this last year. Rotorua has a lot and even in the middle ot Tauranga have had a couple in our tree this last year.
    hundreds of Tui’s around now days as well. Think that its because we have replanted water ways and parks with a lot more natives including flax.
    The other factor is the removal o fpests and possums who decimate the branch and flower tips on the trees.

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  8. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    @KathyS – we have a few kereru living in the bush near our house so I’ve been able to pick out some good vantage points over time.

    @RRM – it sounds like your cherry tree are doing their bit for local bird conservation :) The Wairarapa is however, a little long to travel to for kereru pics :)

    @Brian Smaller- yeah, they’re not the most aerodynamic of birds. At least that gives you early warning to look out for them. There are a lot of karaka around here that are being spread by our local birds.

    @Ed Snack – I’ll concede they provide an impetus to clean our car on a regular basis also :)

    @Elyacee – my pleasure, I’ve waited a long time to get something other than them perching in a tree

    @lolitasbrother – the trick today, is discouraging the feral pests from easting them

    @Viking2 – I think the push to get more people planting native trees in garden- especially those that tuis etc feed on- has helped. There’s a lot more native birds around in suburban gardens I think, compared to 20-30 yrs ago. An aggressive approach to pests to like possums and rats is probably helping. I’ve got bait stations out for instance, to keep the local rat population down.

    Tuis really like the flax bushes :)

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  9. stephieboy (3,533 comments) says:

    The wonderful shot makes me think of a Guava Berry shrub in a friends backyard sometime ago which was festooned with at least four Kereru going wild and possibly drunk with their find.

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  10. Dave_1924 (121 comments) says:

    Difficult to get a shot? NAhhhh… Come to Wainuiomata DF and you will see bucket loads of the big noisy flappers. Down Homedale way close to the hills you get them in your garden stealing plums, sitting on the phone lines, crashing in trees. I can take pictures of them out the back window on occasion….

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  11. deadrightkev (610 comments) says:

    Nothing like a brace of bush chickens to compliment the venison sausages on a hunt.

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  12. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    Dave_1924:

    Come to Wainuiomata… …you will see bucket loads of the big noisy flappers. Down Homedale way close to the hills you get them in your garden stealing plums, sitting on the phone lines, crashing in trees.….

    Aren’t you being a bit harsh on the locals, Dave? This thread was meant to be about wood pigeons… :)

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  13. Dave_1924 (121 comments) says:

    @ Elaycee – I am a local – nothing wrong with Wainuiomata. I could take serious offence at being typecast, but I won’t…..

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  14. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    Jeez Dave – head off to the Fitzroy Tavern and sip on something cold. Don’t you know when someone’s taking the piss?

    Oh, never mind. 8O

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  15. Dave_1924 (121 comments) says:

    I am chill Elaycee – but sometimes taking the piss grinds when you’ve being hearing sh&t spoken about your home for 40 odd years… Enough said

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  16. Tauhei Notts (1,687 comments) says:

    Dave,
    Is Chloe your missus?

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  17. Hair Removal Specialist (80 comments) says:

    not bad tasting either, apparently

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  18. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    Don’t pick on Elaycee to much Dave. He cant help himself….. he’s a HOBM supporter! :)

    By the way anyone know how to stop the stupid buggers from crashing into windows?

    (That’s Wainui Kereru not HOBM chaps on their way back home from the Bellevue. ) :)

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