Crowned pigeon of the genus Goura and part of the family Columbidae has four different species recorded till now. These four large ground-dwelling birds are endemic to New Guinea and some surrounding islands of the region. There are four known species in the genus Goura of crowned pigeon, Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria), western crowned pigeon (Goura cristata), Scheepmaker's crowned pigeon (Goura scheepmakeri), and Sclater's crowned pigeon (Goura sclaterii). Among these, the Victoria crowned pigeon is the most commonly seen. All of the species look similar to each other and are found in New Guinea and few nearby islands. Other species of crowned pigeon are also available but of a different genus. The white-crowned pigeon (Patagioenas leucocephala) is found in Florida. All of the four species of the genus Goura, including the Victoria crowned pigeon, are known to forage on the ground on the forest floor.
A detailed study on the species of bird found that Scheepmaker's crowned pigeon is actually a sister to the Victoria crowned pigeon, while the Sclater's crowned pigeon is sister to the western crowned pigeon. The habitat of the western crowned pigeon overlaps with the habitat of the Victoria Crowned Pigeon. In this article, we will discuss more on the Victoria crowned pigeon as the bird is extensively researched.
Crowned pigeons are birds that belong to the family called Columbidae, which includes pigeons and doves.
Victoria crowned pigeons fall under the class of Aves in the kingdom of Animalia.
As the population of the bird species is decreasing a lot in recent times, the condition has been deteriorating too. The population of Victoria crowned pigeons is considered to be around 10000-19999 currently in a range of area of 477,000sq km. The population of the western crowned pigeon is estimated to be around 3,500-15,000.
A member of the crowned pigeon, Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria) is found in northern New Guinea and some nearby islands. The western crowned pigeon is found in northwestern New Guinea. The Victoria crowned pigeon is sometimes also seen in Indonesia.
Victoria crowned pigeon is found in lowland moist and swamp forests. The bird is found in rain forests, in a range of an elevation up to 360.9 feet (110 m). All the species of the crowned pigeons inhabit different parts of the island, but all are endemic to New Guinea.
Victoria crowned pigeon is found in groups of two to ten birds always on the ground. These birds only use their wings to fly to branches of trees to roost at night.
The average life span of the Victoria crowned pigeon is up to 25 years in captivity. To achieve this, the bird may need proper care and diet throughout life.
Victoria crowned pigeon is known to breed late in the wet season and the dry season. In the breeding season, the male of these birds is known to give a loud call and show courting displays like bowing by erecting the tail, opening the wings, and bowing the head. The pair mate for life. The male chooses the nesting site for the female and once it is chosen, the male presents the materials to the female. The nest is made of dead stems, leaves, and sticks. The female lays a single white elliptical egg, rarely two. The egg is incubated by both the parents for a month. Once the egg hatch, crop milk is fed to the young by the parents for three to ten days. While the young are growing up, fruits, grains, and seeds are added to the diet gradually. The newborn young needs round-the-clock parental care and feeding. In three weeks, the birds learn to fly and they leave the nest in a month. Parents continue to feed fruits and seeds to the young for some more time.
The young reach sexual maturity in about two years.
The Victoria crowned pigeon and Sclater's crowned pigeon are categorized as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List. The conservation status of the western crowned pigeon and Scheepmaker's crowned pigeon is categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List.
Victoria crowned pigeons suffer from habitat loss due to logging. All the species in the genus are also heavily hunted for feathers and meat. Although capturing pigeons is illegal in most parts of the world including the islands, the practices are still continuing.
All crowned pigeons look similar to each other. The Victoria crowned pigeon is blue-gray in color with a blue lace-like crest. These birds have maroon breasts and red eyes. They have a small black mask and the feather crest has white tips. The wing coverts have a pale blue-gray row of feathers with maroon tips. The chest is colored deep purple-maroon. The tails are long and the birds have stout red legs.
Victoria crowned pigeon is the biggest among the crowned pigeon species. The male and female of the genus is similar in color where female species is a little smaller than the male.
These pigeons are cute with beautiful coloration on their bodies and erect crests.
Crowned pigeons mainly communicate by sound and calls. While mating, they make a deep hoota-hoota-hoota-hoota-hoota sound, and while defending their homes they make a whup-up, whup-up, whup-up call.
One of the crowned pigeon, the Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria) is the largest of the genus and has a range of length from 29-30 in (73.6-76.2 cm).
Nicobar pigeon from Southeast Asia and Australia has a length of 21-23 in (53.3-58.4 cm), quite smaller than the crowned pigeons.
Crowned pigeon flying speed is not known. The bird is not known to fly much as they are mostly found on the ground. The bird may only fly when near threats or at night to roost in trees.
Pigeons usually fly at a speed of 77 mph (123.9 kph).
The Victoria crowned pigeon is the biggest of this species and has a range of weight up to 7.7 lb (3.5 kg).
Males and females of the bird species are not given different names. These birds are known by their common name of crowned pigeons.
A baby crowned pigeon is called a young.
Crowned pigeons primarily have a diet of fallen fruit, seeds. and snails. They are known to diet on their food on the ground.
They are not dangerous.
To even consider a crowned pigeon pet, the owner needs to be experienced and dedicated. An area the size of a room is required by the birds to move around. For Victoria crowned pigeons, proper time and space should be given to the birds for them to thrive and lie a long life. They can be fed fruits and grains, however, the intake should be controlled.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
Victoria crowned pigeons are said to be related to extinct dodo birds.
These birds can fly short distances, but mostly stay on the ground. They only fly from the ground to the branch in the trees and vice-versa.
These birds are captured and kept in homes a lot even when it's illegal to keep a pigeon captive.
The name crowned pigeon is given to the species because of their fan-shaped crest of feathers on the head which looks like a crown. This crown, however, has made the species a target for hunters.
The name Victoria crowned pigeon commemorates the Queen of England.
Victoria crowned pigeon is given the status endangered, while the western crowned pigeon has the status of vulnerable currently. The birds are hunted a lot for their meat and feathers. Also, the habitat has been getting degraded very quickly, leading to the endangerment of the birds.
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