Movements, diet, and breeding of New Zealand pigeons
A radio-tracking study of the biology of New Zealand pigeons (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) at Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve, Marlborough has been in progress since 1984. Radio-transmitters have now been attached to over 30 different individuals, yielding information on diet, seasonal movements and breeding. New Zealand pigeons at Pelorus Bridge fed on foliage from August to December and various native fruits from January to July, relying especially heavily on fruits of miro (Prumnopitys ferruginea). Approximately half of the pigeons captured whilst foliage feeding at Pelorus Bridge in spring moved to sites 3-14 km away in early summer, with the onset of breeding. At least some of these birds had returned by the following spring. The breeding success of pigeons resident in the study area varied greatly between years, due to rat predation and the possible influence of annual variation in the availability of fruit.