Victoria Crowned Pigeon Facts
- Most notably, the awesome Victoria Crowned Pigeon ranks as the largest known type of pigeon in the world. It also represents one of only four unique, and quite large, species of pigeon in its genus.
- Furthermore, the truly distinctive creature shares an unusual trait with the other members of its genus. Like them, this fascinating and amazing avian spends the majority of its life on the ground.
- However, individuals will take flight if they are disturbed. But, that flight only extends to the nearest tree canopy. There, the animal will take shelter for as long as necessary, often making raucous noises.
- Additionally, it now faces the threat of extinction. This occurs primarily due to a combination of habitat loss and hunting. Its population now numbers fewer than 20,000 individuals. Therefore, the IUCN now lists it as Near Threatened.
Victoria Crowned Pigeon Physical Description
First of all, the dazzling Victoria Crowned Pigeon truly forms a giant of its kind. That’s because this breathtaking bird averages a body length of about 30 in (75 cm). However, exceptional individuals sometimes reach 31 in (80 cm). Large individuals weigh as much as 7.7 lb (3.5 kg).
Yet its sheer size isn’t its only remarkable trait. Quite uniquely, it also boasts a gorgeous feather crest. This typically presents a brilliant blue in color, with the ends of the feathers commonly being tipped in a bright white.
The body itself most often presents a deep gray-blue in color. A small black mask-like feature also appears on the face. Additionally, the wings display a lighter shade of blue, with conspicuous maroon colored tips. The bird displays no noticeable degree of sexual dimorphism.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Columbiformes
- Family: Columbidae
- Genus: Goura
- Species: G. victoria
Victoria Crowned Pigeon Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Like numerous other species, the magnificent Victoria Crowned Pigeon only inhabits a very limited area. In its case, that area mainly consists of the northern sections of New Guinea, near Australia. However, it also inhabits a few small neighboring islands.
Yet, even there this fabulous bird usually only appears on specific habitat types within the region. These mainly include areas of lowlands and swamp forests. It will also sometimes appear in regions of sago forests.
In addition, it most commonly lives near or at sea level. Yet, individuals will occasionally appear at altitudes of as much as 3,000 ft (914 m). However, these usually have only ventured to the area temporarily.
Much like its related species, the Victoria Crowned Pigeon evolved as a highly gregarious animal. Because of this, it rarely moves alone. Most often, it travels in small groups, at a slow pace, along the floor of the forest.
Although it primarily eats fruit, it will also feed on small invertebrates and seeds on occasion. Its favorite fruit consists of figs, though it will consume other fruit if readily available. Seeds and invertebrates it consumes opportunistically, with no noticeable preference.