Te Motu Kairangi´s exciting discovery; Nesting kererū !
For the second year now we have found a kererū sitting on nest! Last years nest in December seemed to been abandoned after a few weeks, however the nest was at a quite exposed location at the top of a spindly tree. One bird was then seen 3 weeks later in Centennial Park collecting sticks, and its not unsual for the species to re nest if the first nest attempt fails.
Only recently have they returned to the peninsula and this recent finding is a huge success for the species out here.
The nest is a platform of dead twigs, and a single egg is laid which the parents take turns to look after during the 28-day incubation period. The chick is brooded constantly until it is about 10 days old and well covered with feathers. From then until fledging at about 35-40 days of age, it is left alone by day, with the occasional brief visit by a parent to feed it. It is fed "pigeon milk", a protein-rich milky secretion from the walls of the parents' crops, mixed with fruit pulp (how cool is not that). Fledglings spend about two weeks with their parents before becoming fully independent,
Pairs that have failed nesting attempts (due to predators, poor nest construction or a storm) often re-nest within a week or two. When certain trees fail to fruit in a given year, the breeding success of kereru suffers. In lean food years they may not breed at all.
Now, just fingers crossed for a good breeding season with not to many gale force winds and hopefully the nest stays safe from rats and other predators.
We will keep you updated!