The Great Kererū Count

Have you seen a kererū? Take part in the Great Kererū Count from 21- 30 September and help protect these beautiful birds and our native forests.

This year we're doing a native tree give away at the Nelson Saturday Market, on 15 September from 9am - 11am or until all the trees are gone.  Come along and pick up a tree to plant for kererū, and find out how you can take part in the Great Kererū Count.

GKC2018 flyer front

Help improve Nelson’s biodiversity by gathering information on the abundance and distribution of the New Zealand wood pigeon – also known as the kererū, kuku or kukupa. 

What do you need to do to take part?

By counting kererū in backyards, schools, parks or reserves you can help discover where these “gardeners of the skies” live, how many there are, and what they eat. You can record a timed observation or one off sighting, and then enter the information about your sightings on the website All you need to enter is where and when you saw kererū, and how many you saw. If you saw no birds, please enter that too.

Introduction to Kererū Count - kaitiakitanga in action from LEARNZ on Vimeo.

Why are Kererū so important to our biodiversity?

Kererū are the only bird large enough to eat and disperse the large fruit of native trees such as tawa, pūriri and mataī. Without them our native forests would not regenerate and the sustainability of our natural environment would be under threat. Kererū are classified as “not threatened” but recognized by the Department of Conservation as being essential for forest regeneration.

kereru perchedHow do you spot a kererū?

The kererū is a large, heavy bird with irridescent green and bronze feathers on its head and a smart white vest. The noisy beat of its wings is a distinctive sound in our forests.

How do you count?

Go for a walk with a note book and listen and watch for the gardeners of the skies, record your sightings - where, when and how many birds - then report back at and help us look after Nelson’s Nature.


How to count kererū from LEARNZ on Vimeo.

Things you can do to help kererū:

Caring for kererū from LEARNZ on Vimeo.

• Place something in front of, or on your windows, to stop kererū flying into them such as a decal or a wind chime.
• Plant native trees and plants they like to eat (kōwhai, cabbage tree, and mataī).
• Tell us when you see them during the Great Kererū Count.

The project is supported by WWF-New Zealand and Forest & Bird among other agencies.

Hear a kererū's call on the Department of Conservation's website:

How are the results of the count used?

Kereru Count results from LEARNZ on Vimeo.


great kereru count in flight