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White-headed Pigeon: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Check out these awesome white-headed pigeon facts.

Do you like pigeons like the crested pigeon? Then here we have all the information on the white-headed pigeon. The white-headed pigeon (Columba leucomela) is a species of pigeon endemic to Australia. These birds have a white head, dark-colored wings and tail, a red eye-ring, bill, and legs. The white head of these birds is the reason for their common name. The breeding season of these birds occurs around any time between July-March. Mainly a single brood can be seen consisting of a single egg in a clutch on average. The young chick can be seen staying with its parents even after it fledges. These birds usually live in pairs or small flocks and the chicks join these flocks once they are old enough. These birds can be seen foraging together for seeds and fruit.

Read on to know about the physical description, breeding, and nesting behavior of the white-headed pigeon. If you like this article, then also check out tumbler pigeon facts and speckled pigeon facts.

White-headed Pigeon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white-headed pigeon?

A white-headed pigeon (Columba leucomela) is a species of pigeon.

What class of animal does a white-headed pigeon belong to?

The white-headed pigeon bird belongs to the class Aves of animals.

How many white-headed pigeons are there in the world?

The population of these birds in an exact number is not known. They are not rare, rather they have been reported to be locally common in north Queensland and New South Wales, but they are known to be scarce in the rest of their habitat range. However, their population is showing an increasing trend.

Where does a white-headed pigeon live?

White-headed pigeons are endemic to Australia. More specifically, they can be mainly found from Eden in New South Wales to Cooktown in Queensland. They can also be seen southeast of Victoria but in fewer numbers.

What is a white-headed pigeon's habitat?

The primary habitat of these birds is the coastal areas and their adjacent highlands of Australia. They are mainly seen in forests, like gallery forests, secondary forests, and rainforests. They are also found in the open agricultural countries where there's an abundance of camphor laurel, forest edges, and open country with scattered patches of forests.

Who do white-headed pigeons live with?

The white-headed pigeon is known to live in pairs or small flocks. They can mostly be seen foraging alone or in small groups. Flocks of up to 100 birds foraging are rare, but they can be seen.

How long does a white-headed pigeon live?

The exact lifespan of these birds is not known. However, pigeons, in general, live for about 14-15 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the white-headed pigeon bird is hard to pinpoint. It's known to occur anywhere between July-March. Other than a quavering, deep 'coo-coo' call during the breeding season to attract a partner, not much is known about their courtship behavior. After copulation, the female lays a single egg. The egg is then incubated for the next 19-20 days. Not much is known about the parental care done by these birds. The young white-headed pigeon chick fledges at about 21-22 days of age. The young or juvenile white-headed pigeon still stays with its parents after that to join the flocks.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this species of bird according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is of Least Concern. They don't have any great threats to their population at this moment. Their population is increasing, so no conservation actions are being taken as of now.

White-headed Pigeon Fun Facts 

What do white-headed pigeons look like?

White-headed pigeons have a pinkish-red eye-ring.

The white-headed pigeon (Columba leucomela) is a large pigeon species. They have a white head, belly, breast, and neck, sometimes with a slight buffy to gray tinge. Their undertail-coverts, vents, and flanks are slate gray-colored. They have a purple to metallic green gloss on their secondary coverts, upper tail, and rump. Their eye-ring, feet, and legs are pink to red, while their bill is pale to dark red-colored with a white tip. Females are the same as males except for the white parts on their body have more gray.

How cute are they?

These big birds may not be considered cute, but they sure are beautiful owing to the colors of their body. They also have not been seen to be aggressive.

How do they communicate?

These birds communicate vocally and visually. The white-headed pigeon call is a low and single 'coo' note. Their mating call is a double note, which has an emphasizing first note and a faint and fading last note that sounds like a 'whooh-huu'.

How big is a white-headed pigeon?

An adult white-headed pigeon is about 15-16.5 in (38-42 cm) in length. They are slightly smaller than Nicobar pigeons, which are about 21-23 in (53-58 cm) in length.

How fast can a white-headed pigeon fly?

The exact speed at which these birds fly is not known. However, pigeons, in general, are known to have strong flight muscles, large wingspans, and small feet. These help them fly at a pretty good pace.

How much does a white-headed pigeon weigh?

These birds are large in size. An adult white-headed pigeon bird weighs about 14.8 oz (420 g) on average.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males of the species are called cocks and the females of the species are called hens.

What would you call a baby white-headed pigeon?

A baby or young white-headed pigeon is called a chick or hatchling.

What do they eat?

These birds are herbivorous in nature. Their primary diet consists of seeds and fruits. They also feed on the invasive camphor laurel tree, which they feed on year-round. Along with this introduced camphor laurel, they also occasionally feed on foliage, fruits, flowers, and buds.

Are they dangerous?

They are not known to be dangerous or aggressive towards humans or otherwise.

Would they make a good pet?

The white-headed pigeon has not been seen to live as a pet. They are wild animals and they should be left in their natural habitat where they can survive best.

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.

Did you know...

The nest of the white-headed pigeon is made up of vine tendrils and twigs. This nest is kept 8.2-65.6 ft (2.5-20 m) above the ground on vine tangles, or thick foliage.

The eggs of these birds are of white shade.

There's a white-headed pigeon spiritual meaning available in many cultures. It means the kindness and love of others towards you or the devotion and love of a mother.

How many species of pigeons are there?

Pigeons can be seen worldwide except in Antarctica. Pigeons have a lot of species divided into many subfamilies in taxonomy. The subfamily Columbinae alone contains about 175 species. Some of them are the pink pigeon, German nun pigeon, carrier pigeon, pheasant pigeon, and more. They all differ primarily owing to their appearances and geographic distribution.

Naming the white-headed pigeon

This species of bird got its common name, 'white-headed pigeon' from its white head.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these common wood pigeon facts and tooth-billed pigeon facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable pigeon coloring pages.

Main image by Paul Balfe.

Second image by Dominic Sherony.

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