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  EXOTIC (WILD) SPECIES - Blue Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata)

Description: About 28-30 inches (70-76 cm), Blue Crowned Pigeons tend to be a bit larger than the other two species. Not quite as common as the Victoria, this species is still quite attractive. The head, neck and breast are dusty blue with the back, wings and tail a much darker blue grey. The eyes are surrounded by black or dark grey in a "mask-like" shape. The front of the wings have patches of deep burgundy. The greater wing coverts are white with burgundy tips which create a white band on the wings. On the head is a laterally flattened crown of feathers running from the forehead to the back of the head in a sort of "Mohawk" style. The tip of the tail has a band of light bluish grey.

Other Names:

Western Crowned Pigeon, Common Crowned Pigeon


Natural Habitat:

Status in Wild: Well established yet is considered vulnerable or threatened due to hunting for food and capturing for the illegal pet trade.


Housing: For best results Crowned Pigeons should be kept in very large flights (i.e., 200+ square feet) with only one pair per flight. There should be considerable cover and nesting sites should be placed at varying heights.

Temperatures: Sensitive to low temperatures (below 40 Fahrenheit) and must be kept out of the elements (i.e., wind, precipitation). With this species it is important to offer heat when temperatures begin to drop. They will do best in warm and humid conditions.

Feeding: While Crowned Pigeons will eat a basic grain dove mix in captivity, they must also be fed a good amount of other foods such as chopped fruit, invertebrates (maggots, meal worms, wax worms, etc.), and perhaps moistened dog food.

Breeding: Crowned Pigeons lay one white egg approximately the size of a chicken egg. Both parents incubate the egg which hatches in 28-30 days. Young leave the nest about a month after hatching and are still cared for by the parents for another several weeks. This is much longer than the more commonly kept domestic and exotic species.

Numbers: Found primarily in zoos and public aviaries..


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Notes: The coo of the Crowned Pigeons has been described as a "boom" and is quite distinctive. Many people have seen them (especially Victoria Crowned Pigeons) wandering around zoos and are often amazed that they are indeed pigeons and not some sort of chicken or turkey. The natural tame nature of these birds along with their stunning beauty makes them wonderful ambassadors for the Columbidae family.

Keeping this bird in captivity is very demanding and only for the most experienced keepers. Those who want to add this bird to their collection must make sure they have proper housing in place, can offer appropriate nutrition, and are prepared to control temperatures as needed. It is also wise to consider the investment (likely several thousand dollars for a pair).

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