Victoria Crowned Pigeon Facts
- Most impressively, the truly awesome Victoria Crowned Pigeon ranks as the largest known type of pigeon in the world. This remarkable avian also represents one of only four unique, and comparatively quite large, species of pigeon in its genus.
- The truly distinctive creature also happens to share a relatively unusual trait with the other members of its genus. That’s because, like them, this fascinating and amazing variety of pigeon actually spends the great majority of its life on the ground.
- Individuals of this species will, however, take flight if sufficiently disturbed. But, that flight typically only extends to the nearest tree canopy. There, the fascinating animal usually just takes shelter for as long as necessary, often making raucous noises.
- The Victoria Crowned Pigeon 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, thus the IUCN now lists it as Near Threatened.
Victoria Crowned Pigeon Physical Description
The dazzling Victoria Crowned Pigeon truly forms a giant of its kind. That’s true since this breathtaking bird averages a body length of about 30 in (75 cm). Exceptional individuals, though, sometimes reach 31 in (80 cm). Large individuals weigh as much as 7.7 lb (3.5 kg).
Yet its sheer size isn’t the only remarkable trait of this magnificent animal. Quite uniquely, it also boasts a gorgeous feather crest. This also 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, and a small black mask-like feature also appears on the face. 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.
Even within this already limited range, this fabulous bird usually only appears on specific habitat types within the region. These mainly include areas of lowlands and swamp forests, but the bird will also sometimes appear in regions of sago forests.
Interestingly, it also most commonly lives either near or at approximate sea level. Some individuals, though, will occasionally appear at altitudes of as much as 3,000 ft (914 m). These specimens, though, usually have only ventured to the area temporarily.
Much like its numerous related species, the beautiful 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 also feeds 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.