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Crested Pigeon
Geophaps lophotoes

Columbiforme Order – Columbidae Family

Length: 30-35 cm
Weight: 120-230 g

Crested Pigeon is endemic to Australia.
Upperparts are greyish brown. There is conspicuous black barring on scapulars and wing coverts. The other wing coverts such as greaters, tertials and secondaries have glossy metallic green-purple colours, with prominent white fringes. Tail is grey-brown with paler tip.
Underparts are pale dove-grey. The sides of neck and breast are washed vinous-pink. Vent is buffy-grey. Undertail coverts are darker grey. Underwing coverts are white, with grey flight feathers.
Head is soft grey with conspicuous long crest. This pointed crest has grey base and black tips. It is usually erect. Nape is darker grey.
Bill is dark grey to blackish, with grey base and cere. Eyes are orange-yellow, with pinkish-red eye-ring. Legs and feet are pinkish-red to red.
Both sexes are similar.

Female lays two white glossy eggs. Incubation lasts about 17 to 20 days, shared by both parents.
Both adults care for the young which fledge about 2 to 3 weeks after hatching.
As other pigeons, Crested Pigeon feeds its young with “crop milk”.
This species can produce several broods in succession per year.

Crested Pigeon feeds mainly on seeds from grass and trees, but also those of cereal crops. It also may consume leaves and insects.
Crested Pigeon feeds in flocks, and they also congregate at waterholes for drinking.

Crested Pigeon is common and widespread in its range.           

Fr: Colombine longup
All :  Spitzschopftaube
Esp :  Paloma-bronce Crestuda
Ital : Piccione alibronzate crestato
Nd : Spitskuifduif
Russe :  Хохлатый бронзовокрылый голубь

Photographs by Patrick Ingremeau

Text by Nicole Bouglouan


HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD vol 4 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliott-Jordi Sargatal - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334229

BIRDS OF ASIA AND AUSTRALIA  by David AldertonSouthwater - ISBN : 184215978X

Avibase (Lepage Denis)

Wikipedia (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)

Birds in backyards (Birds Australia and Australian Museum)

Honolulu Zoo


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Page Family Columbidae

Summary Cards  


Juvenile resembles adults with duller, browner plumage. It has short crest and less glossy wing patch. Eyes are blue-green, with blue-grey eye-ring. Bill is horn coloured. Legs and feet are greyish-pink.

Crested Pigeon utters soft and plaintive “cooo-oo” as advertising call, and loud “coo-wooo” rising in pitch in the middle.
During displays, we can hear short grunting “oo”. Alarm call is a singly “whoop”.    

Crested Pigeon lives in dry grasslands near water, in dry open woodlands with Eucalyptus and Acacias, near water too.
Crested Pigeon avoids moister habitats and very arid treeless areas. It may be found in cultivated areas and urban parks, and it has adapted to disturbed lands.

Crested Pigeon lives across most of Australian continent, in suitable habitat, including Kangaroo Islands.

Crested Pigeon feeds mainly on ground, feeding on varied seeds from grasses and trees. It also forages in cultivated areas for cereal grains.
Often seen in small flocks, this gregarious species is active at dawn and dusk. This species roosts in dense foliage, relatively near feeding areas. When they are in flocks, Crested Pigeon runs before taking flight if disturbed.

It is largely resident in its range, with some dispersion in post-breeding season.

Crested Pigeon performs flights displays during breeding season. Male rises at steep angle with strong wing beats, with wings clapping loudly. Then, it glides steeply down to a perch, often following a curve, with wings held open.
Male also performs bowing displays. It approaches female with raised wings, in order to show off its glossy patches, and it raises and spreads its tail; then, it bobs up and down rapidly, flexing its legs and uttering display call “oo”.

This species produces several broods per year, and male may have several different mates in a single season.

Crested Pigeon, as doves and other pigeons, provides distinctive whistling sounds with its wings when it takes off. It flies with rapid wing-beats, alternated with fast glides. It raises its tail to steep angle when landing.

Crested Pigeon may breed at any time in the year, but mainly in the warmer months, from September to March.
Nest is placed in dense foliage in tree, or in thick bush. It is a delicate structure made with twigs, a flimsy platform well hidden, often in thorny bush at about 1 to 5 metres above the ground.