Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories

New Zealand Pigeon

From Opus

Photo © by flossiepip Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand,  27 February 2016
Photo © by flossiepip
Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand, 27 February 2016
Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae


[edit] Identification

Photo © by LayzeboyLake Brunner - Westcoast, South Island, New Zealand, 27 July 2006
Photo © by Layzeboy
Lake Brunner - Westcoast, South Island, New Zealand, 27 July 2006

46–50 cm (18-19¾ in)
Head, throat, upper breast and upperparts metallic green with a purplish sheen and bronze tints especially around neck, or an ashy-grey wash. White lower breast, belly and legs with a sharp line between the green upper area and the white below.
Broad rounded wings and a long wide tail
Red bill with orange tip, crimson eyes and feet.

Juveniles are similar, but upperparts are duller with a smudgy upper breast; dull feet and bill, and usually a shorter tail.

[edit] Distribution

New Zealand

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
Chatham Island Pigeon and Norfolk Island Pigeon are sometimes included in this species.

[edit] Habitat

Native forests, forest adjacent to agricultural land, scrub, rural and city gardens and parks.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Action

Strong steady wing beats in flight, giving a distinctive, noisy swish.

[edit] Diet

Their diet consists mostly of ripe fruits. They also eat leaves, shoots, flowers, buds, nectar and sap.

[edit] Breeding

They are long-lived birds, and breed very slowly. Key breeding signals are spectacular diving display flights performed mainly by territorial males. They nest mainly in spring/early summer producing only one egg which parents take turns to look after during the 28-day incubation period. In the first week after hatching, the fluffy chick is fed "pigeon milk", a protein-rich milky secretion from the walls of the parents' crops, mixed with fruit pulp. A week later the chick is ready for regurgitated berries. North Island chicks fledge at four to five weeks while the South Island chicks take two weeks longer. The fledglings then spend another week with their parents before becoming fully independent.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call: is a single kuu, which is soft and pentrating.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2017). New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 March 2017)
  3. BirdLife International. 2016. Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22727557A94952579. Downloaded on 12 March 2017.
  4. Goldberg, J., Trewick, S.A. & Powlesland, R.G. (2010) Population structure and biogeography of Hemiphaga pigeons (Aves: Columbidae) on islands in the New Zealand region. J. Biogeogr. 38(2): 285-298.
  5. Higgins, P.J.; Davies, S.J.J.F. (Eds.) 1996. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic birds. Vol. 3, snipe to pigeons. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
  6. Millener, P.R. & R.G. Powlesland, 2001. The Chatham Islands pigeon (Parea) deserves full species status; Hemiphaga chathamensis (Rothschild 1891); Aves: Columbidae. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 31:365-383. PDF
  7. Powlesland, R.G. 2013. New Zealand pigeon. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online.
  8. BirdForum Member observations

[edit] External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.23800397 seconds with 6 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 07:23.