New Zealand Pigeon
Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae

AKA: Wood Pigeon, New Zealand Fruit Pigeon


ęTodd Mark


ęCharles Hibbert 


 Head pic ęP. LaTourrette
(Peter's Web Site)
above  pics H. n. novaeseelandiae


H. n. chathamensis

Distribution: Endemic to New Zealand where it is found on North island, South Island, Little & Great Barrier Islands, Hen & Chickens, Mayer Island, Kapita Island & Stewart Island. Also found on Chatham Island & formerly on Norfolk Island. Inhabits forest, cultivated areas and gardens. 

Races: three recognized with one being extinct. 
H. n. novaeseelandiae (Gmelin 1789)
H. n. chathamensis (Rothschild 1891) Chatham Island only
H. n. spadicea (Latham 1801) Norfolk Island - Extinct

Description: Length 48 cm. Most of head, lores & crown bright metallic green shading to purplish bronze on the back of the head, nape & neck. Rest of upper parts iridescent green suffused with silvery grey on outer parts of wings & rump. Chin greyish shading  into the brilliant metallic green throat, neck & breast with some variable bronze reflections. Iris dark red, orbital skin purplish crimson. Bill at base & ceres blood red with yellowish tip. Feet dark red.  Females being a bit duller purplish-maroon color on the mantle & wing shields. Juveniles similar to adults, duller colors & having buff feather fringes on breast & buff underparts.

Nesting: Single white egg; incubated 28-30 days by both parents. Young fledge from 36 days to 6-7 weeks. One of the slowest documented development of young compared to other large pigeon species. 


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