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  EXOTIC (WILD) SPECIES - Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria)

Description: About 28-30 inches (70-76 cm) long, Victoria Crowned Pigeons are likely the most common Crowned Pigeon species in the US. The head, body and wings are dusty blue with the breast being a deep burgundy. The eyes are surrounded by black or dark grey in a "mask-like" shape. The greater wing coverts are light grey with burgundy tips which create a light grey 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 tips of the crown feathers are distinctively edged in white unlike the other two species. The tip of the tail has a band of light bluish grey.

Other Names:

White-tipped Crowned Pigeon

Subspecies:  

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.


IN CAPTIVITY

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, and though expensive and difficult to come by, there are several Victoria Crowned Pigeons in a few private collections in the US.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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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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