On 27th February 2012 Nick Fleury of 90 Marama Avenue South brought a young kereru to Bush Haven. It was on the ground and couldn’t fly, and weighed only 422 grams, so obviously a young bird.
We fed it through a tube several times a day for a few days and gradually introduced it to thicker food like pureed fruit and veges, then more solid fruit and veges, as is usual, keeping it for a full week in a cardboard cat box, then into a cage in our laundry-cum-hospital.
By 19th March it weighed 435 grams and was put into a small aviary through the day and it soon started flying back and forwards in this aviary, while still being fed. After a few days it started eating by itself and on 16th April we banded it with a silver band and put a red jess with ’19’ written on it. That day it went to the big pre-release aviary and weighed in at 633 grams.
No. 19 was released on Sunday, 22nd April and flew into a nearby tree where Bubs was sitting. She didn’t immediately chase it away and in fact it started flying around with her over the next day or so.
Ever since then, No.19 has been coming for food with Bubs at some part of the day – not every time she comes as we believe she is sitting again. Bubs doesn’t chase No.19 away but doesn’t like it feeding from her dish, so we now have two kereru being fed daily and this is quite exciting for visitors. Randall Milne with his two children, Gabrielle and James were happy to feed the birds. They later named No. 19 ‘Lucy’ – we’re pretty sure she is a female.