The Victoria crowned pigeon is dusty blue with a large crest of feathers on its head; very different from feral pigeons we see in towns and cities. It is the largest of all living pigeons.
Crowned pigeons are a gregarious species, spending their time with partners or in small flocks. They are also monogamous, forming bonds for life.
Crowned pigeons spend a large part of their day foraging the forest floor for fallen fruit and seeds, but will also eat a variety of insects. The pigeons tend to search for food in pairs or small flocks.
This species can be found in tropical rainforest in Papua New Guinea and some small offshore islands nearby. Relatively little is known about them in the wild as they live in such dense forest.
The Victoria crowned pigeon is classified as Near Threatened. The species is hunted for food and collected alive for illegal sale. Forestry and mining activities also threaten the pigeon's forest habitat. As a result, the crowned pigeons have largely disappeared from areas of human habitation but are thought to be fairly common in the wilder jungles of New Guinea.
A population of Victoria crowned pigeons is being maintained in human care throughout Europe.
Baby pigeons are called "squabs". When parents feed their squab on the nest, they secrete a nutritious liquid from the membranes around their throat, known as crop milk. Once the squab reaches a week or two of age, the parent starts to include regurgitated seed and fruit in the squab's diet too.
You can find our Victoria crowned pigeon in the Forest of Birds walkthrough, next to Splash and the Activity Centre
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