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Topknot Pigeon

The Top-Knot Pigeon is April’s bird of the month

Name:

Topknot Pigeon

Genus:

Lopholaimus antarcticus

Description:

The Topknot Pigeon is rarely seen within the Sydney area, but in recent months there have been flocks of up to twenty birds seen regularly in Centennial Park. It is believed that the recent bushfires have destroyed large areas of their rainforest habitat and they have had to spread out into the urban environment to find food.

The Topknot Pigeon is dark grey on the back and wings, with black flight feathers at the end of the wing. It has a paler grey underside with black streaking around the neck and upper breast, and the tail is black with a broad white band across it.

Its most distinctive feature is the head, which has a very stylish crest of feathers, a grey mound swept back from above the bill to the eye and becoming a russet brown across the back of the head and down the neck. The eyes are bright red and the bill and feet are pink.

Its name is often misused for the more common Crested Pigeon which has a pointed black spike of feathers as its crest and is usually seen feeding on the ground.

Distribution: 

Topknot Pigeons are generally found in rainforest along the eastern coast of Australia from Cape York down to the New South Wales south coast. It is nomadic and highly mobile, following seasonally-abundant fruit.

Located in the Parklands:

Topknot Pigeons are usually seen flying in small flocks between fruiting trees throughout the Park. They can quickly be identified as a medium sized grey bird with a white band across the black tail feathers about half way along the length of the tail. If feeding they are often hidden in the foliage, but may be seen moving about the outer edge of fig trees, giving a good opportunity to see their unique crest of feathers.

They may remain in the park for some time as our fruiting figs provide a vital refuge until their rainforest home recovers from the devastation of bushfire.

This information was curated by a team of passionate Centennial Parklands volunteers. Find out more about our volunteer programs here.

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