If you are in Australia and find this beautiful, gregarious pigeon with a slender spike on its gray head, then you can be sure that this is the Crested pigeon. If you hear that trilling whistle sound of a bird then, look around to find the flocks of this beautiful bird called the Crested pigeon. The head is gray, and there is a pink ring around the eye and a purple-green tinge in its wings. With bright gray plumage, these birds complement the lush green habitat.
The scientific name of the Crested pigeon is Ocyphaps lophotes. It is one of the two Australian species of the Ocyphaps genus. They are found resting on trees near the water bodies found in abundance in the Australian mainland, and the population is stable. The pigeon is a symbol of positivity, friendship, and hope and the people of Australia take care of these lovely birds without caging them. Read on to know more.
The crested pigeon is a medium-sized gregarious bird. They have an erect crest over the head. They are found in abundance in Australia and are an important species in aviculture.
What class of animal do crested pigeons belong to?
The Crested pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) belongs to the Aves class. It belongs to the genus Ocyphaps, and the Spinifex pigeon and the Crested pigeon possess an erect crest and they are the only two Australian pigeon species to have it.
How many crested pigeons are there in the world?
Though the exact count of this species is not known, the Crested pigeon species are widely found in the world. A very gregarious animal, these species are also taken in by humans in rural and urban areas. Native to Australia, these birds count in abundance.
Where do crested pigeons live?
The Crested pigeon is endemic to Australia, and the bird is found throughout the mainland. These birds are found along the coast from Queensland to Broken Bay, New South Wales. Though the birds are found both in rural and urban areas of lightly wooded grasslands, avoiding denser forests, they are rare in Sydney but are found in Tathra and Bega as well, except for far tropical north areas of Australia.
What is a crested pigeon’s habitat?
The Crested pigeon is found in the vicinity of water bodies on the trees in the lightly wooded grasslands. The birds are found in the savannas, dry woodland, and shrublands as well. And nearly absent in the denser forests.
Who do crested pigeons live with?
The Crested pigeon is a very social bird and lives in groups. The birds flock together in small and large groups. They can be seen resting on treetops during the day in large numbers. They are very friendly in nature and go along well with humans too. In captivity or as a pet they do well with Cockatiels.
How long do crested pigeons live?
The Crested pigeon lives up to six years in the wild. However, they are also kept in zoos and homes by many because of their gregarious nature. The young birds fledge around the nest for just three weeks before taking a flight on their own.
How do they reproduce?
The Crested pigeon reproduces by sexual reproduction. They are also monogamous breeding species. In the breeding season, to lure the female, a male approaches her with an elaborate mating dance by bobbing its head and fan its wings and tail. Once the pair is together, they build their nest with twigs and feathers in the trees or dense bushes in their habitat. A female lays two eggs per brood. Crested pigeon eggs are oval in shape. Both the partners contribute to the incubation process, which lasts for three weeks. They together care for the young birds. The young birds fly off to be on their own in another three weeks.
What is their conservation status?
According to the IUCN Red List, the conservation status of Crested pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) is Least Concern.
Crested Pigeon Fun Facts
What do crested pigeons look like?
The Crested pigeon is a lovely bird with a conspicuous thin crest. The head is gray and there is a pinkish-red ring around the eye. The feathers are barred with black, and the wing ends are glossy green with purple patches. The overall plumage is gray-brown with pink underparts.
How cute are they?
The Australian Crested pigeon a cute gray bird with a crest on its head and bright coloration of wings in green and purple tinge. They have a pink ring around their eyes. The birds look beautiful, perched on the top of trees. The turned wings of the bird while flying look beautiful with all the colors on display.
How do they communicate?
The most distinguished way of communication of a Crested pigeon is making a rapid trilling, whistling sound. The bird produced this sound in its flight because the modified primary feather contributes to this sound mechanism. This sound is often used to alert the flock in case of danger. However, they communicate through soft and loud coos as well.
How big are crested pigeons?
A Crested pigeon is a medium-sized bird. It is between 11.2-13.6 in (28.4-34.5 cm) in length with a wingspan of about 17 in (43.8 cm).
How fast can crested pigeons fly?
Though the exact speed of these birds is not known, they can be very fast birds in times of danger, but most of the time, they rest on the treetops if not drinking or feeding. They take off with whistling sounds and land on the ground with the turned wings.
How much do crested pigeons weigh?
An adult Crested pigeon weighs between 5.2-8.8 oz (147.4-249.4 g). But, if you get a closer look at the birds, both the genders are similar in size and plumage. Therefore, it is difficult to distinguish from one another in terms of their appearance.
What are the male and female names of the species?
Though there is no specific term given to this particular species based on their gender, a male pigeon is called a cock, and a female pigeon is called a hen. The flock of pigeons is called by multiple names, including band, dropping, kit, loft, plague, flight, and passel.
What would you call a baby crested pigeon?
A juvenile Crested pigeon doesn’t have any specific name, but baby pigeons are called squeakers or squabs.
What do they eat?
A Crested pigeon diet includes seeds at large that are natively found, but they don’t mind foraging on other crops and weeds. Their diet also includes insects and small, tender green leaves. Water is an essential part of its diet, and this bird drinks water every day, which is why they are mostly found in the vicinity of water bodies. They flock together for drinking and feeding in the morning and evenings, whereas they rest on trees during the day.
Are they dangerous?
No, Crested pigeons are not dangerous. They are very friendly and social birds.
Would they make a good pet?
Yes, Crested pigeons make great pets. They are very friendly in nature and love to perch on their keeper’s shoulder to move around. They can be kept along with Cockatiels. They are a part of aviculture.
Did you know...
The Victorian crested pigeon name celebrates the British monarch Queen Victoria and is also known as the Blue crested pigeon.
The White-crowned pigeon or the White-crested pigeon is also an important game species throughout its range. Although hunting regulations are in place, illegal hunting is still a problem for these pigeons.
The Choiseul crested pigeon is now extinct and was endemic to the island of Choiseul.
Are crested pigeons native to Australia?
Yes, Crested pigeons are native to Australia. Hence they are famously known as the Australian Crested pigeon.
Why do crested pigeons make a noise when they fly?
The whistling sound that is produced when a Crested pigeon flies is because of the modified primary feather. The modified primary feather vibrates due to the aeroelastic flutter during the flight causing the Crested pigeon sound. These feathers are narrower when compared to other pigeons, hence the whistling sound.
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