Discovering the Enigmatic Giant of the Rainforest: A Blue-Grey Beauty with a Unique Crest

The Victoria crowned pigeon is one of the most stunning and magnificent birds on the planet. Named after Queen Victoria, this large forest pigeon flaunts impressive colors, an ornate headpiece of feathers, and unique behaviors that make it truly beautiful.

Victoria crowned pigeons inhabit the dense rainforests of New Guinea and near eastern parts of Australia. They are mostly found on the ground feeding on fruit but can fly up into the forest canopy. With their long legs, they walk confidently through the undergrowth searching for food.

Their most striking feature is their complex and colorful head crest. The base of the crest is bright red, shaped like a crown, and decorated with iridescent blue, purple, and green feathers that glisten in the light. They often expand and retract the crest to communicate and attract mates. The crest starts developing when the bird reaches 2–3 years of age and continues to change color and lengthen as the pigeon ages.

The rest of the Victoria crowned pigeon’s body features beautiful feathers ranging from blues, greens, and purples to earthy browns. These colors act as camouflage while the birds forage on the forest floor and then light up when they spread their wings. The center of the bird’s breast is a stunning metallic green that shines against the earth tones of its body.

Victoria crowned pigeons have the unusual ability to produce different sounds with each side of their syrinx or vocal organ – an ability shared by only a few other bird species. Some scientists suggest they may be capable of making two-part harmonies, giving the pigeon a remarkable singing voice. They produce loud low-frequency booms and coos that can travel for miles within the dense forests.

Another fascinating behavior of these beautiful pigeons is their mating dance. Males approach females and bow, simultaneously spreading their wings and tail feathers while fanning out the crest atop their heads. They strut in circles around the female with their red eyes focused directly ahead. Both birds vocalize and chase each other in an elaborate courtship.

The babies that result from these impressive courtships are truly miraculous. Victoria crowned pigeon chicks are born featherless and pink, and develop feathers in only 10 days. The chicks’ crests begin growing almost immediately and within a couple months, they look nearly identical to the adults. They learn to fly between 2 and 4 months of age.

From the vivid colors along their crests to their dazzling wingspans and remarkable vocal abilities, Victoria crowned pigeons are among the most stunning birds on earth. Their uniquely complex behaviors, speedy growth, and ability produce multi-part harmonies showcase nature’s remarkable creative forces at work. They serve as a reminder of the beauty found throughout the natural world when we take the time to learn about and appreciate creatures outside of our own species. The majestic Victoria crowned pigeon stands as a testament to the infinite ways beauty can manifest.

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