16 July 2015

Kereru (New Zealand pigeon), Pohangina valley

On a heavy grey afternoon threatening rain (and sometimes delivering on the threat), I walked to the edge of the terrace. Mostly I needed to get out of the house, to recall the feeling of walking after too much sitting, but I also thought the birds might cooperate for photographs. They've been unusually accepting lately, letting me approach closer than usual. I want to think they're beginning to understand that I'm no threat, but I suspect the reason's less flattering and probably has more to do with their preoccupation with food during this lean time of year.

This kereru, one of two sitting next to a flowering tagasaste, kept a close eye on me but seemed otherwise comfortable enough. I kept just far enough away to avoid scaring it into flight. Birds have more important things to do than waste energy flying from non-threats.



All content © 2015 Pete McGregor

9 comments:

Lisa Emerson said...

I love kereru, love the sound of their wings in flight, the way branches bend as they land, their beautiful plumage, their air of confidence that says "we were here well before you!" A lovely photo. Pete. I think you have captured the weighty calm of this bird.

Zhoen said...

What an elegant Duchess of a bird. No doubt with a silver longette tucked in her feathers.


Lisa Emerson said...

You're exactly right, Zhoen - I was struggling to find a term - majestic sounded too grand, but elegant Duchess fits these birds perfectly! Aristocratic - perhaps that's what I was looking for!

Zhoen said...

Lisa,
Landed gentry, at any rate. Country estates, but kind to her tenants.

I've added you on the google, btw, (joan)

Lisa Emerson said...

Yes, Zhoen - love it!

pohanginapete said...

Lisa and Zhoen — thanks for those excellent apt descriptions. They fit beautifully, and I'm not sure I'll be able to look at kereru again without thinking of them (although they don't always look this sophisticated. Sometimes they look, ... well, ... maybe I won't spoil it).

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

I chuckle at Lisa and Zhoen's back-and-forth about the lovely bird's presence ;0 Please don't laugh if I tell you the coloring reminds me very much of the tuxedos my groom and his groomsmen wore ... more than half a lifetime ago! I am so glad this lovely specimen withstood your photography; I wasn't so lucky over the weekend when I happened across an Eastern Goldfinch (Spinus Tristus), whose coloring is vastly different than this! Said husband and I were heading into the home improvement store for some hardware and some white caladiums when we spotted the goldfinch grazing among the potted zinnias. All I had was my phone's camera and managed to catch it in flight - over the yellow stripe in the road. Figures.

Zhoen said...

So, how much like pigeons (aka flying rats) are they like other times?

pohanginapete said...

Barbara, I have some badly timed photographs of departing birds, but yours sounds so bad it's perfect. ;-)

Zhoen, they're surprisingly unlike the rats-with-wings pigeons — so much so that I find it difficult to see them as pigeons. They're much bigger (among the largest pigeons in the world), they're generally sedate, and they fly deliberately and powerfully. Occasionally, glimpses of their cousins show through, but mostly, well, they're kereru (or kukupa in the north of the North Island).