Victoria crowned pigeon, also known as Goura victoria, this big, bluish-grey pigeon has beautiful blue lace-like crests, a maroon breast, and crimson irises on its head and eyes. It is one of four ground-dwelling pigeons belonging to a genus (Goura) peculiar to the New Guinea area and is extremely big.
The bird’s distinctive white points on its crests, as well as the loud ‘whooping’ noises it makes while calling, make it easy to identify in the wild. It was given its name in honor of the British queen Queen Victoria.
In color, the Victoria crowned pigeon is a deep blue-grey with a small black mask on its head. Its feather crest (which, apart from its size, is the distinguishing characteristic of crowned pigeons) is noticeably white-tipped. On the undersides of the wing coverts, a row of feathers is a lighter blue-gray with red ends. These come together to create a unique wing bar.
The hue of the chest is a rich purple maroon. Melanism has been found in all crowned pigeons, including these particular ones.
The other two crowned pigeons are outwardly similar to the Victoria species, but only the western crowned pigeon’s distribution coincides with that of the Victoria species. The Scheepmaker’s crested pigeon, on the other hand, does not.
The western species differs from the eastern species in that the crown is more scraggly and hair-like, the breast is a uniform blue-gray rather than maroon, and the wing-bar is less prominent. Both sexes are identical in appearance.
In most cases, the length of Victoria’s crowned pigeon is 73 to 75 cm (29 to 30 in). Some specimens may measure more than 80 cm (31 in) in length and weigh more than 3.5 kg (7.7 lb). As a result of its somewhat greater average size than the two other crowned pigeon species, it is believed to be the biggest living species of pigeon on the planet.
Among pigeons on mainland New Guinea, the conventional measurements are as follows: the wing chord measures 36–39 cm (14–15 in), the tail measures 27–30.1 cm (10.6–11.9 in), the beak measures 3.2–3.5 cm (1.3–1.4 in), and the unfeathered tarsus measures 8.5–9.8 cm (3.3–3.9 in).
When this species rises to the air, it produces a loud clapping sound, similar to that of other crowned pigeons. A deep hoota-hoota-hoota-hoota sound is used by this species, as is the case with the other two species of crowned pigeons, to attract females to them during mating season. Whenever they want to protect their territory, these birds emit a loud cry that goes like this: whup-up, whup-up, whup-up When they make touch, they make a deep, muted, and rather human-like hmm or hmmm sound.
A Victoria crowned pigeon consists of two subspecies, G and H. G. beccarii from New Guinea and V. beccarii from the world. There are three species of Victorias: Yapen, Biak, and Support. The nominate race, G. v. Victoria, is found on Yapen, Biak, and Support.
The nominate subspecies is much smaller than the other subspecies, with wing chord measurements ranging from 31.6 to 33.2 cm (12.4–13.1 in), less robust legs and feet, and darker overall plumage. The nominate has a sparser crest with black on the wing coverts and directly above the tail, while the nominee has a more dense crest.
Habitat Of Victoria Crowned Pigeon:
The Victoria crowned pigeon may be found in the lowland and swamp forests of northern New Guinea and the adjacent islands, where it can be found breeding. It is most often found in places once covered by alluvial plains, such as sago forests.
Even though this species is usually found at or near sea level, birds have been seen to travel up into the hills to elevations of up to 3,000 feet on occasion. Every day, they take a flight from the sea to the tree.
Skeleton Of Victoria Crowned Pigeon:
In the same vein as other crowned pigeons, the Victoria crowned pigeon is a charming bird. While searching for food, they are most often seen traveling in groups of two or three people. They stroll over the woodland floor in a leisurely manner, seeming undisturbed. The majority of their diet consists of fruit that has fallen on the ground. Figs are a favorite food of this species in captivity, and the birds are especially fond of them.
Seeds and invertebrates may be used to augment the diet on occasion. Victoria crowned pigeons will fly straight up into the canopy of a big forest tree or onto a broad horizontal limb of a large forest tree if they are disturbed. After being startled, they may stay on their perch for an extended period, making contact calls and flicking their tails to communicate with one another.
However, although this species is more cautious in the wild than its counterpart, it may still be approached discreetly from time to time in a peaceful setting. The males engage in aggressive displays regularly to establish dominance. As they puff up their chests and raise their wings, the pigeons seem to be preparing themselves to attack their adversary throughout these encounters.
Furthermore, they make brief darting attacks on one another and have been seen to strike one another. However, they seldom make physical contact with one another and may be totally benign towards other males outside of the early mating season.
Reproduction Of Victoria Crowned Pigeon:
The breeding activity of Victoria crowned pigeons is at its height late in the rainy season and early in the dry season. He displays for the female by dropping his head to the ground, extending his back, and then rhythmically swinging his head up and down while concurrently wagging his fanned tail. Even though the female is the primary caregiver, both parents are involved in raising the children.
It is common for the female to deposit a single white egg in a well-constructed tree nest made of stems, twigs, and palm leaves. The male provides the female with nesting material in the weeks leading up to her egg-laying season. The egg will be incubated for about 30 days. The young are taken from the nest while they are still considerably smaller than their parents, yet they have actively cared for a total of 13 weeks until they are allowed to depart.
Status Of Victoria Crowned Pigeon:
The Victoria crowned pigeon is currently the least common of the three crowned pigeon species in the wild, although it is the most commonly maintained in captivity of the three species in the wild. The species faces several threats, the most serious of which is the continued loss of habitat due to logging. Because it is extensively hunted in the vicinity of human habitations, it is now scarce near human habitations, especially in regions where gun ownership is widespread.
The animal may be very docile and readily shot in captivity, but it now seems wary of people in the wild. The majority of hunting is done for its plumes and flesh. Trapping pigeons to keep them alive for captive collections is prohibited, although it is still likely to occur. The Victoria crowned pigeon is listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.