If you are out and about for the day, you might see some common pigeons at the park or perhaps in the city. They don’t necessarily inspire us with their looks or moves but what you might not know is that they are only one of 300 species of pigeons and doves in the world. They are beautiful in their own way but when you look at the Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria), there is no comparison. The crest on their heads and their sheer size make them the most beautiful pigeon in the world.
You will find the Victoria crowned pigeon, which is named after the 19th-century British monarch Queen Victoria, in the area of New Guinea. They are known for their gray-blue feathers, black mask, red eyes, and maroon chest. Perhaps the most notable feature, however, is their impressive crest.
It is the crest with white tips that sets the Victoria crowned pigeon from the other two varieties of crowned pigeon. They do have a similar look but the western crowned pigeon (Goura cristata) and Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeon (Goura scheepmakeri) have a crown with more of a fur-like appearance.
The Victoria crowned pigeon is the largest of the surviving pigeons in the world. They might be up to 30 inches long and weigh as much as 7.7 pounds, making them jumbo-sized compared to the other species. They are able to maintain that size, even though they live off of figs and other types of fallen fruit. Think of these pigeons as being the size of a chicken and you will be close to the truth.
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These birds tend to travel in groups as they look for food and they spend most of their time on the forest floor. If danger is nearby, they will take off from the ground with a loud clapping noise. Like many species of animals, the Victoria crowned pigeon is becoming a rare sight. In part, this is due to their popularity as a captive bird.
Also, they are losing their habitat due to logging and are being aggressively hunted for meat and their feathers. The population has severely declined near populated areas. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, they are ‘Near Threatened’.
People everywhere love the large crest of feathers on the Victoria crowned pigeon
They are native to the region of New Guinea but are now found mostly in captivity.
Other crowned pigeon species look similar but the Victoria crowned pigeon is the one with the most distinct crest.
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