Pigeon (Victoria crowned) / Goura victoria

Did you know...

The male Victoria Crowned Pigeon courts the female by bowing before her, wagging his fanned tail and “booming” the loud, hollow whoom-whoom-whoom-whoom sound.

He brings her sticks, which she weaves into a nest for her single egg. Incubation lasts about 30 days, with both parents caring for the chick for four weeks in the nest and another 13 weeks after it fledges. Like other pigeons, Victoria Crowned Pigeons produce a nutritious “crop milk” that is all they feed the chick for the first few days of its life.

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 in the park.

This is also the largest of all pigeons and is nearly the size of a turkey.

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.