Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The New Zealand Wood Pigeon

Pigeon by any other name, the New Zealand wood pigeon is known as the Kuku or Kukupa in the far North, but the Kereru by the remainder of the country except on the Chatham Islands where it is called the Parea.

When we were sorting out the plum tree after the leaking spouting and then the kitchen window, Harry spied in the neighbours privet tree a wood pigeon. It was having a wonderful time feasting away on the berries and enjoying the sun shine. We figured it was one of the reasons why we are often pulling out the privet trees that seem to sprout up around the section - trees known to aggravate asthmatics (and my sinuses).

But I couldn't resist taking some pics of it.

Tirau’s history is recorded as a town known as a resting place for the travellers on their last stop from Auckland or the north before travelling by horse pack over the Mamaku Ranges to Rotorua before the railway line opened up.

It is also reported that the Wood Pigeon came to rest and to feed on the berries and flowers of the Cabbage trees.

Early Maori spoke of Tirau as a wonderful place to catch the Kereu or native pigeons. The birds would feed up and become very heavy and reluctant to fly off so were easy prey.

The birds used the many Cabbage trees in the area as overnight resting places and large parties of Maori came and gathered them at night.

For this reason Tirau is also known as the catching place.

Very interestingly the Kereru is still a sort after delicacy by some, since I have taken these photos, even though it is a Native protected bird.

Ngapuhi elder Sonny Tau has stepped down as the chairman of Tuhoronuku - the iwi group charged with negotiating a Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the government - while he's under investigation.

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