The Crested Pigeon is a bird of prey that may be seen in large flocks. This pigeon flies to the air with a distinctive whistling flight and glides with its wings down whenever it is frightening. The air passes over a modified main feather that causes the whistling sound to be generated on the wing. As soon as the pigeon touches down, it raises its tail high in the air.
In appearance, the Crested Pigeon is a stocky pigeon with a prominent thin black crest on its head and neck. The majority of the bird’s plumage is grey-brown, with hints of pink on the underparts. The wings are barred with black and embellished with patches of glossy green and purple on the underside. With a pinkish-red ring around the eye, the head is grey. This pigeon flies to the air with a distinctive whistling flight and glides with its wings down whenever it is frightening. The air passes over a modified main feather that causes the whistling sound to be generated on the wing. As soon as the pigeon touches down, it raises its tail high in the air.
Characteristics Of The Crested Pigeon:
Crested pigeons are between 300 and 350 mm in height (Bird World, 1999), and they are leaner than the typical pigeon in appearance. It is distinguished by a tall, black, thin crest that protrudes from the very top of its head. The sides of its lower neck and breast are salmon pink, with hints of olive green here and there. It is a very bright pigeon for its size. The grey wings and black beaks of this bird are both very short.
Except for bands of purple and blue-green along its wing, a Crested Pigeon is mostly grey in appearance. Patches of dull brown persist on the underside of the animal.
The outer tail feathers are a deeper grey with blue, purple, and green iridescence with a wide white tip, while the inner tail feathers are a lighter grey. The skin of the orbits and the soles of the feet are purple-pink or pinkish-red. The iris is orange, yellow, or even orange-red, and it has a crimson periophthalmic ring around the edge of the pupil.
Strangely, similar characteristics, particularly the complex wing design that would be expected to be used to attract females during courting, are present in both male and female species, which is surprising.
Temminck published his description of the species in 1822, and it is the only species in the genus Ocyphaps, which was created by G.R. Gray in 1842. It is known that there are two subspecies of the species: O. l. photos, the nominate subspecies, which occurs across the southern half of the continent; and O. l. Whitlock, which occurs in the central and northern areas of Western Australia.
The taxon was named in honor of F. Lawson Whitlock, a bird collector who worked in the region and amassed significant collections of bird species.
The species has also been designated as Geophaps, and it is thought to be related to Geophaps plumeria. Aside from crested or topknot pigeon, other common names for the species include bronzewing or dove, both of which are differentiated by the presence of a crest.
Habitat Of Crested Pigeon:
The Crested Pigeon may be found throughout its range in sparsely forested meadows in both rural and urban settings. The animal is typically found near water since it needs to drink daily and is missing from densely forested areas.
Distribution Of Crested Pigeon:
The Crested Pigeon is a native of Australia, and it may be found in large numbers across most of the continent. Crested Pigeons are very common in Australia and may be found across the country, except for regions with high rainfall. The preferred dry habitat is an open forest with shrubs and trees, and it is located within easy flying distance of a body of surface water. They like to spend most of their time on the ground, although they nest and take refuge in trees.
Feeding And Nutrition:
The Crested Pigeon‘s food is mostly composed of seeds from natural plants and seeds from introduced crops and weeds. There are also some leaves and insects that are consumed. Small to huge numbers of zebras gather around waterholes to be fed, and they also cluster to drink. Birds gather in adjacent trees and often sit for extended periods before descending to drink. Drooling and eating are most frequent in the mornings and evenings, although they may happen at any time of day.
The Behavior Of Crested Pigeon:
Among the most distinguishing characteristics of these birds is the thumping and whistling sound that their wings produce as they lift flight from the ground. In addition to serving as an alarm cry to other pigeons, this is most likely to divert predators’ attention away from any birds still on the ground and toward those on the wing themselves. Their flying patterns are quite similar to those of the spotted turtle dove as they land, with their tails tilted upwards as they do so. They may be very gregarious and are often observed in groups of different sizes. When they come into touch with people, they become very friendly birds.
Breeding Of Crested Pigeon:
However, although they may breed at any time of the year, it is more frequent during the warmer months. With each bob of their body up and down, males expand and close their wings like fans in an intricate courting dance. Soft hooting is heard in the background, which is timed to coincide with the bobbing. If she is interested, the female will usually stay immobile while the male approaches her until the male attempts to suffocate her.
Nesting is most often seen in shrubs or trees. Nests are often constructed of twigs arranged on a platform. They lay two oval, white, glossy eggs with a glossy finish. In most cases, the eggs hatch three weeks after they are deposited. Both parents incubate the eggs.
The Cycle Of Crested Pigeon's Life:
The Crested Pigeon‘s nest is a fragile building made of twigs erected in a tree or thick shrub by the bird. It is very important for both sexes to participate in egg incubation and to care for the offspring. The baby birds take about three weeks to hatch, and they depart the nest after another three weeks.
Breeding season: Usually from September to March, although it is possible to breed at any time.
Clutch capacity: 2
The incubation period is 21 days.
Time spent in the nest: 21 days