Kereru starving after last summer's Northland drought
Sat, 14 Aug 2010 6:20p.m.
By Bob McNeil
Some native birds are paying the price for last summer's drought in Northland.
Worst hit are wood pigeons, or kereru; they are now starving after the drought destroyed much of their traditional winter food.
While usually kereru are our bigger native birds; the drought has left them weak and thin, and one of them doesn't have the strength to fly.
Bird rescuer Sylvia Durrant says it is the first time she has seen pigeons starving.
"We had a very dry summer and the trees dropped their leaves and berries, and now in winter, when the woodpigeons would be eating them, they are not, because there aren’t any there,” she says.
Ms Durrant has been rescuing birds for 20 years and says kereru have been dying in all the areas affected by the drought.
"So they are eating grass and leaves, and whatever they can find. It's not very nourishing so they are losing half their body weight; just dropping out of the sky from starvation," she says.
Ms Durrant doesn't have a degree in ornithology – the study of birds – but she does have something else; a vast knowledge of birds, and a magic touch when it comes to handling them.
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16/08/2010 9:53:23 a.m.
Laura Hawkins wrote:
Can these bird be shipped to America and bred? All the birds I have ever had just multiply. I would try to help them survive.Just a thought.Laura Helen
15/08/2010 10:09:18 p.m.
We have kereru in our garden, obviously looking for food - what can we put out for them?
15/08/2010 9:26:12 p.m.
I Have been suprised to have a kereru eating Kowhai buds recently which I Have not seen before. I would like to offer supplement food.
15/08/2010 6:04:29 p.m.
I would also like o donate some money to buy the Kereru some bird food. Can someone send me details too. Thanks
14/08/2010 10:20:59 p.m.
Sylvia is part of the SCA bird wing. I am sure they would be able to help you with that. The whitford bird rescue centre is also caring for several Kereru. You can view their web site at
www.wildbirds.org.nz. They have details of how you can make a donation direct should you wish to support them.
14/08/2010 9:25:03 p.m.
I have 2 Kereru that walk thru my garden, their too full of golden plums.
14/08/2010 7:11:43 p.m.
So, if we wanted to send Sylvia some money to help her feed the birds, where could we send it to?
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