The Victoria Crowned Pigeon was named in honor of the British monarch, Queen Victoria.
Named for the British Monarch Queen Victoria, the Victoria Crowned Pigeon is without doubt a royal bird. Its dusty blue-grey feathers may remind one of the pigeons found on any city street, but the Crowned Pigeon’s elegant blue lace crest, scarlet eyes, and rakish black mask are unlike anything you’ll find pecking around in the city park. Add in the fact that this largest of all pigeons is nearly the size of a turkey, and you know you’re seeing something special.
Victoria Crowned Pigeons like to be in pairs or small groups, wandering the forests of New Guinea in search of the seeds and fallen fruits that make up most of their diet. Males will sometimes spar with each other during the breeding season — flaring their wings and puffing up their chests to look larger and more impressive for the females — but they tend to live peacefully together the rest of the year. Groups of Crowned Pigeons spend most of their time on the ground, only flying up into the branches of trees when startled, or when they want somewhere safe to roost overnight.
Hunting and habitat destruction have already extirpated the Victoria Crowned Pigeon from many of its traditional territories in New Guinea. And the population continues to fall. Based on current estimates, there are only 10,000 – 20,000 Victoria Crowned Pigeons left in the wild.
Prefers unbroken swamp and sago palm forests, sometimes drier forests, principally in lowlands
Fallen fruits and seed, especially figs
Males present females with sticks, which she weaves into a nest for a single egg. Incubation lasts about 30 days. Both parents care for the chick for four weeks in the nest and another 13 weeks after it fledges.
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