Instagram | @vickyph17

The Victoria Crowned Pigeon Has The Beauty And Grace Of Its Namesake Queen

Amy Pilkington 31 Jul 2020

I have long-since learned to stop assuming that pigeons are boring pests. Just because the ones I've been most aware of are the noisy, gray, French-fry stealing North American type, doesn't mean they are all a pain in the butt.

Nor does it mean that all of them are gray and dull. Considering that there are 344 distinct species in the pigeon/dove family, variety is the name of the game.

The biggest species of them all is the Victoria crowned pigeon of Northern New Guinea and its surrounding islands.

Instagram | @lphubbard

It's hard to find images that truly showed the scale, but an adult averages between 28-30 inches from head to tail, making then nearly as large as a female turkey.

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It doesn't take much sleuthing to figure out that it was named for Queen Victoria.

Instagram | @endangeredbakes

The dusty, royal blue color and incredible crest are definitely regal.

Not to mention those piercing red eyes.

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For many bird species, the males and females look very different, but not the Victoria crowned pigeon.

Instagram | @vinnypphotography

In fact, though the males may grow slightly larger than females, the only way to know the sex of an individual bird for sure is surgery.

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These are terrestrial, foraging birds and will only fly if absolutely necessary.

Instagram | @spicevet

Instead, it digs through the marshy ground of its jungle habitat in search of fallen fruit, seeds, and insects.

Unfortunately, habitat loss has caused a steep decline in the wild population, and the species is currently listed as Near Threatened.

h/t: Toronto Zoo, National Aviary

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