People often ask what they can put out to feed Kereru in Winter. The simple answer is "you can't".
To explain in in a little more depth, we have a special diet that we feed to Kereru in the instance that they are in need of being in care for a time - for example after hitting a window. However, it's not something that they normally recognise as food and they have to be taught to eat it....
The best thing you can do to provide food for Kereru - and other native species is to create habitat and plant trees. One of their favourite food sources - although not a native is Tree Lucerne. This tree provides food all year around and is fast growing also. A good tree to have in the garden to encourage Kereru to visit while slower growing natives are coming up from underneath. Tree Lucerne also feeds Tui, Bellbirds and Bees while it is in flower.
Kereru have adapted their diet over the years to eat plants that are both Native and Exotic. They are known to eat over 70 species of plants. Some they eat the leaves, some the flowers or the fruit. Some plants they eat all three.
We have compiled a list of Plants – both Native and Exotic that Kereru eat - it should be noted however that the trees listed are specifically for Otago and the surrounding areas.
For regions other than Otago: If you wish to plant trees to feed the kereru (and we hope you do!) please check with your local conservancy and garden centres for trees that will grow in your area.
The biggest threats to kereru in urban environments are impact injuries with windows and cars, closely followed by habitat loss, predation and illegal hunting.