Victoria Crowned Pigeon, known as Goura victoria, is a lovely bird species found in the lowland rainforests of New Guinea and nearby islands. This bird, named after Queen Victoria, and is known for its striking appearance, is one of the largest pigeon species in the world. With its blue-gray plumage, bright blue crown of feathers, and red iris, it is no wonder that the Victoria Crowned Pigeon is a popular target for hunters and poachers. However, its beauty is not its only notable trait, as this bird has a unique digestive system and social behavior. This article will delve deeper into the characteristics, habitat, and conservation status of the Victoria Crowned Pigeon.
Victoria Crowned Pigeon Appearance
The Victoria Crowned Pigeon stands out from other bird species due to its appearance. Its large size, striking blue-gray feathers, and bright blue crown of feathers make it a sight to behold. Its crest of feathers on its head is especially noteworthy, as it stands tall and erect, giving the bird an almost regal appearance. Please watch the video below to learn more about this beautiful bird.
Its strong, curved beak is a tool for cracking open hard seeds and nuts. It is no surprise that the Victoria Crowned Pigeon is a popular attraction in zoos and wildlife parks around the world.
Size & Weight
This bird measures up to 73 to 75 cm (30 inches) in length and weighs 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs). The male and female pigeons are similar in size and weight, with the male having slightly larger crests on their heads. Because of its size, this Pigeon can eat a wide range of fruits, seeds, and nuts that smaller birds might not be able to.
Habitat & Distribution
They primarily live in the southern and southeastern regions of Papua New Guinea. But also live in some parts of Indonesia.
These birds require dense forest cover for nesting, roosting, and foraging. They are also known to inhabit forests and forest edges. The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is a ground-dwelling bird but prefers perched in trees or low branches.
The exact distribution of the Victoria Crowned Pigeon within their range is unknown, as their habitat is remote and difficult to access. The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is a prized bird in the pet trade, which has contributed to its decline in the wild.
Diet & Feeding
These pigeons are herbivorous and eat various fruits, seeds, and other vegetation available in their natural habitat. Their diet includes fruits such as figs, berries, mangos, seeds, nuts, and leaves.
In captivity, provide a specialized diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and commercial bird feed.
Make sure to provide a mixed diet that meets their nutritional needs and avoid feeding them foods that are harmful to their health. These pigeons travel long distances in search of food and also climb trees and shrubs to feed on fruits and leaves.
The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is a generally quiet and docile bird that prefers to avoid conflict whenever possible. They are not known for making loud noises or engaging in aggressive behavior. Instead, they are gentle and peaceful creatures, spending most of their time feeding for food on the forest floor or roosting in trees.
They are monogamous birds, meaning they mate for life and remain loyal to their partners. They live in small groups or pairs in the wild and are cooperative creatures that work together to survive in their natural habitat.
These Pigeons use a variety of methods to communicate with each other. One of the most common forms of communication is vocalizations, which include coos, grunts, and other sounds. They use these sounds to express different emotions, such as warning calls to alert other birds of potential danger or to signal a mating call.
Victoria Crowned Pigeons also use body language to communicate with each other. For example, they may fluff their feathers to appear larger and more intimidating or bob their heads to show submission or attraction to a potential mate.
Breeding & reproduction
Victoria Crowned Pigeons reach sexual maturity at around 1 to 2 years of age. They usually form monogamous pairs during the breeding season, which typically occurs from August to September, they work together to build a nest, usually in a tree, and the female pigeon lays a single egg.
Both parents take turns incubating the egg, which hatches after about a month (30 days). The chick is born with covering feathers and is initially unable to move or feed itself. The parents take turns feeding and caring for the chick until it can leave the nest at around three (3) weeks of age.
These Pigeons are classified as “Near Threatened” by the (IUCN) International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is due to fragmentation and habitat loss caused by deforestation, hunting, and trapping for food and trade.
Their natural habitat in the rainforests of New Guinea is being rapidly destroyed due to human activities such as logging and mining.
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Western Crowned Pigeon
The Western Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata) is a large, gorgeous bird that lives in the lowland rainforests of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. These birds are the largest species of pigeons in the world, measuring up to 70 cm (28 inches) and weight of 2.1 kg (4.6 Ib). The Western Crowned Pigeon is named for the unique crown of blue feathers on its head, which it can raise and lower depending on its mood.
The Western Crowned Pigeon has maroon breasts and its wings and back are also maroon, and it has a long, fan-shaped tail. Both males and females have similar coloration, but males are slightly larger and have a more elaborate crest of feathers on their heads.
Are Victoria crowned pigeons rare?
Yes, Victoria Crowned Pigeons are rare in the wild. The (IUCN) International Union for Conservation of Nature lists them as near-threatened species. While they are found in captivity in zoos and aviaries, their rarity and protected status mean they are not commonly seen.
How long do Victoria crowned pigeons live?
The average lifespan of Victoria crowned pigeons is around 25 to 30 years in the wild and captivity.
Are Victoria crowned pigeons aggressive?
No, Victoria crowned pigeons are not generally aggressive birds. They usually try to avoid conflict with other birds or animals because they are known for their gentle and shy nature. However, like wild birds, these pigeons may become aggressive if they feel threatened or defend their territory or chicks.
Are pigeons extremely intelligent birds?
Pigeons are regarded as intelligent birds and have various cognitive abilities, such as identifying themselves in mirrors and resolving difficult problems. They also have an excellent sense of direction and have been used as message carriers and racing birds for centuries.
What is the world’s largest pigeon?
The Victoria crowned pigeon, which is native to the rainforests of New Guinea and the islands that surround it, is the largest bird in the world. These birds grow up to 73 to 75 cm (30 inches) in length and weigh 2.5 to 3.5 kg (5.5 to 7.7 lbs).