17 June 2013

Autumn kereru

Have I said this before? Increasingly, I prefer photographs that show the bird in its environment, as you might see it  — glimpsed momentarily, caught in the moment of disappearance, or studied as it peers back from beyond a screen of branches. Kereru (New Zealand pigeon; Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) in sycamore — the former endemic, the latter introduced and sometimes considered a weed.

[6 June 2013, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 200, 1/400 at f11]

All content © 2013 Pete McGregor


leonie said...

I love these birds. One of the places we lived in Auckland had a tree they loved the berries from. They would get 'drunk' and have trouble flying after gorging themselves and we'd have to watch our heads if we were navigating the lawn!

Zhoen said...

How wonderfully you've caught the subtle light and color.

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

A beautiful portrait in every way. The 'coo' is lovely, too.

pohanginapete said...

Leonie, I've heard other stories about that but haven't seen it myself. I wonder if they get hangovers? ;^P

Zhoen, thank you. The irony is that if the bird had been sitting somewhere more open, it wouldn't have had that lovely shadow of the branch over its wing and back.

Barbara, thank you. The New Zealand Birds Online website has only recently gone up, and it's marvellous.

Relatively Retiring said...

How beautiful. The colours and patterns of light and shade are so lovely against the pale sky. The beady eye is firmly on you!

pohanginapete said...

RR, thank you. It seemed quite relaxed there in the sun, able to keep an eye on me. I've noticed this before about a lot of birds: if they can see you clearly, they're more likely to allow you to approach slowly and quietly. Sneaking around trying to keep out of sight never works and only makes them nervous.

Relatively Retiring said...

This is true of many aspects of life, not only birds! Sneaking around has never really worked for me.

Anonymous said...

Kereru...we had never seen a pigeon so large! Just a momentary glimpse unforgettable! Maureen

butuki said...

The kereru reminds me of the aobato (White-bellied green pigeon, or Japanese Green Pigeon; Sphenurus sieboldi) that is quite elusive here in Japan. I have yet to see one up close. They seem to spend a lot of time by water, and have the weirdest call... sounds like someone cupping their hands and making crazy fluting sounds.



Series of photos
(the music? Well, some people like it :^) )

pohanginapete said...

Well said, RR.

Maureen, they're one of the largest pigeons in the world — a fact that's obvious when they land on a thin branch!

Miguel, thanks for pointing out the aobato photographs. They seem more conventionally pigeon-like (apart from the distinctive colours), but perhaps that's because they appear less obese than most kereru, which often seem to have tiny heads in relation to their bodies.