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Crested Pigeon

Name:

Crested Pigeon

Genus:

Ocyphaps lophotes

Description:

The Crested Pigeon is a member of the Bronzewing family, which are ground-feeding pigeons with iridescent patches in their wing feathers. The iridescence is most striking when the sunlight falls on them, as well as during their bowing courtship display.

The bird has a grey head with a slender black erect crest. The eye and eye-ring are red. The brown wings have fine black bars and the iridescent green, violet and gold patches are edged with white.

It has a dark tail that ends in a white tip. When they take off their wings make a distinctive whistling sound. They fly with rapid wing beats, and when they land tip forward and lift their tail vertically.

These pigeons can be found in pairs, small flocks or by themselves feeding quietly on the ground or perched in trees.

Their call is a repeated ‘whoop’ as well as a low ‘coo’. The habitats most favoured are pastoral and farming land, open woodland, homesteads and yards, sports grounds, suburban golf courses and they will always be found near water. They have a distinctive display flight which consists of flying straight up in the air, then with their wings held out will gently glide down in a slow spiral to a prominent perch.

Breeding takes place mostly between July and December. The nest is a rough platform of twigs that is built in dense foliage. They lay two white eggs and both parents incubate them for 18 to 20 days.

The young birds leave the nest after about three weeks. You should be able to find a Crested Pigeon anywhere there are open grassy areas in the Parklands.

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