Friday, November 13, 2009

Meet the Crowned Pigeon

What's that lovely big blue bird over there? You say it's a pigeon? Really?

Yes, believe it or not, that's exactly what this 5 pound turkey-sized bird is! Hailing from the swampy forested lowlands of New Guinea it lives on fallen fruit, seeds, and insects in the wild. In captivity it gets a similar diet, with the addition of specially formulated pellets.

Not only is it one of the worlds biggest extant pigeons, it is also a close relative a one of the most famous, the lamentably extinct dodo bird. But unlike the dodo this bird can fly, and makes a great to-do about it when flushed from cover.

The crowned pigeons I know certainly act like the popular idea of dodos as well, tending to lie down in the path of a hose or rake instead of stepping aside like any other self-respecting bird.

Dodoish or not, they are wonderful birds to work with. Seeing them every day makes me very aware of what we could loose if we aren't careful. After all, dodos only exist as stuffed displays in museums now. Hopefully that won't be the fate of the fantastical crowned pigeon.


  1. You never have to ask me twice if I want to see a giant pigeon! Seriously, actually. I've been fascinated with them ever since a fancy breeder donated a large cull flock with tumblers and fan tails and other amazing creatures to the raptor shelters (for purposes I'm sure you've already figured out).

    The crowned is absolutely gorgeous. Have you ever looked through the book Extraordinary Pigeons?

  2. I love that book! My husband got it for me for Christmas one year. I'm fascinated by pigeons, and I couldn't believe it when I started working with these giant guys!

  3. Ha ha ha - this lil guy is waaaaay too cute.

  4. Isn't it cool? I've lost track of how many times I've taken it (and Extraordinary Chickens and Extraordinary Pheasants) out of the library. Definitely time for my own copy, methinks.

  5. Oh, yes! Extraordinary Chickens is wonderful! I haven't seen Extraordinary Pheasants yet. I'm going to have to hunt that one down!

  6. What a fancy pigeon! I've never seen anything like that before.


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