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Victoria crowned pigeon

Goura victoria

Description: The Victoria crowned pigeon is powder-blue with elegant lace-like crests, maroon breast and red eyes. The bird may be easily recognized by the unique, white-tipped “tabs” on its fan-shaped crest. Both sexes are similar.

Size: Crowned pigeons are the largest pigeons in the world, with the Victoria crowned pigeon being, approximately 29 inches (74 cm) long and weighing up to 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg).

Behavior: Usually found in pairs or small groups, these large pigeons spend most of their time on the ground. When threatened, they may use an aggressive display where they turn sideways to their opponents and raise their wings making them look much larger and possibly more threatening.

Diet: This large bird feeds on the ground, eating seeds, fallen fruits and insects.

Communication: During courtship, the male will duck his head low while fanning his tail feathers out, both head and tail bob up and down. Their call is a deep “whooping” sound.

Reproduction: The Victoria crowned pigeon builds a rather solid platform nest of sticks and leaves in which a single egg is laid. Both parents incubate the egg (about 30 days) and care for the chick. The chick will fledge approximately four weeks after hatching and the parents may continue to feed the fledgling for another two to three months. The chicks are fed with a highly nutritious crop milk produced by the parents and regurgitated to the young.

Habitat/range: Occupies swamp and sago palm forests, as well as drier forests, usually in the extreme lowlands of New Guinea and nearby islands.

Status: Listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List; CITES, Appendix II.