garden visitor

we often have a few kererū (nz native pigeons) flying around our place.


recently, when i was sitting right here where i’m writing now, i looked out the window and spotted one staggering around on the lawn. that’s very unusual behaviour for these birds, so i followed it around the house to find it hiding under the car. hissing at me when i got too close, i ended up enlisting nic’s help to get it into a box. fortunately for us (and the bird!) there is a native bird rescue centre on the island, so we dropped it up there to be taken care of. we later learned that it was a juvenile that had most likely flown into something and damaged its collarbone meaning it couldn’t fly. what we also learned was that kererū don’t do well in captivity (even when in bird hospital), very often not eating so it’s quite common for them to need euthanising before they starve to death.

karen, the bird lady, told us that if it lived through the night we could name it. we were delighted to hear from her the next day saying it was still alive and was eating! we decided to name it hiakai (hee-ah-kye) which means hunger / to be hungry in Māori. it has since been transferred to the mainland to be with other pigeons so it learns how to be a pigeon and not reliant on humans. once it’s fully recovered, it’ll be returned to waiheke to resume its island living.


this is one that visited yesterday and sat for about 10 minutes preening itself before flying off. didn’t seem to care at all that i was nearby.

2 thoughts on “garden visitor

  • What a beautiful being – I love seeing the birds that are ordinary in other places…

    And good on you two for the rescue! Bless the happy ending.

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