Accident Prone Kereru

In Dunedin, Kereru are often highly conspicuous in many areas of town - and often seen sitting on power lines.   Kereru have an extremely disconcerting habit of suffering from impact injuries -  being hit by cars while flying low (often fully laden) across roads or flying into windows or glass balustrades.

Working closely with the Wildlife Hospital Dunedin, every year we care for many Kereru that have suffered from impact injuries.

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Photo of Imprint of Kereru following window strike (courtesy P Kennard)

Depending on the severity of the impact, recovery time can be short (a period of time on the ground to get over the shock) through to a lengthy stay if the bird has broken bones such as the clavicle or punctured body parts (for example the crop). Often these more severe injuries are recoverable with treatment and enforced rest.

In Dunedin, Native Wildlife is treated at the Wildlife Hospital, Dunedin.

Following treatment there, Kereru then come to Project Kereru for the next part of their journey - to regain flight fitness again before being released back where they came from. 

What should you do if you find an injured Kereru?

It is important to note that if you see a Kereru on the ground and you can walk up to it and pick it up it is most likely quite injured.

Using a towel or blanket, carefully pick the bird up, holding the wings against its body (this will help prevent further injury) place it into a cardboard box and leave it somewhere warm, dark and quiet. A hot water cupboard is ideal.

Call the Department of Conservation for further advice.

Otago Conservancy (03) 477 0 677 or 0800 362 468