DOC Hotline
0800 362 468

Bird rescue

Department of Conservation officers or bird rehabilitators with a valid permit are trained to handle native birds. The sooner a bird is given to them, the better its chances of recovery.

What to do if you find a sick or injured kererū?

A kererū on the ground is easy prey for cats and dogs, so please act as quickly as possible. If you hear a thud on your windows, check the ground outside for injured kererū. If you find a dead native bird, contact your local Department of Conservation office.

If you find a band or a bird with a band on its leg, please contact or add sightings here

Take action

  1. Have ready a ventilated box with a secure lid around 60 cm long x 30 cm wide x 40 cm deep.
  2. Pour warm water into a hot-water bottle and place it at the bottom of the box with newspaper on top.
  3. Quietly approach the bird with an absorbent towel. Use the towel to pick it up, covering its eyes and holding its wings to prevent (further) injury.
  4. Place the bird in the box on its stomach and shut the lid tightly. DO NOT try to feed or give water.
  5. Put the box in a dark quiet corner away from pets and children, and immediately contact DOC or if you are in the Wellington area call: THE NEST TE KŌHANGA – at Wellington Zoo  ph: 04 381 6755
  6. For a list of New Zealand Bird Rescue Centres click here:


If you are in the Wellington region and you have found an injured kererū (or any native bird) DO NOT CALL or handover over any money to Lower Hutt Kereru Rescue.

Kererū Discovery DOES NOT endorse Lower Hutt Kereru Rescue practices and they do not have a DOC permit to hold any New Zealand native or endemic birds.

If you are aware that Lower Hutt Kereru Rescue are holding native birds please report immediately by calling the DOC Hotline 0800 362 468

If you wish to support people doing the real mahi then please support the many legitimate Bird Rescue or Native Bird Rehab centres around New Zealand that do incredible work everyday in saving and protecting our native bird life.


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Kererū Discovery is a not for profit organisation connecting people with kererū through citizen science, technology and social media. Our mission is to deliver projects and advice to support the restoration and celebration of indigenous wildlife in towns and cities.

Nature is central to creating liveable cities and cities play an important role in supporting nature. We are proud to be part of a community sharing the kaupapa of the significance of indigenous urban nature, and kaitiakitanga of native wildlife.

100% of all donations help us run projects for Kererū Discovery including our annual native plant giveaways.

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