Crested Pigeon Species of Bird:
The Crested Pigeon is a native of the Australian mainland.
The bird is one of the two pigeon species in Australia with an erect crest, the other being the Spinifex Pigeon which is smaller in size (8 to 10 inches) compared to the Crested Pigeon (12 to 13.6 inches). The Crested Pigeon’s wings are mainly grey in color with black striping and tinges of bronze, and the primary feathers have brown, blue, purple and green areas. The crest is a slender feathered black spike on top of the bird’s head. There are bright orange rings around the eyes.
Younger birds have relatively dull colors.
The Crested Pigeon is mainly found around brush, grassland, lightly wooded areas, water bodies near parks, golf courses, homestead gardens and pastoral grounds, as it has to drink plenty of water every day. When alarmed the Crested Pigeon takes to the air with a beating and whistling sound made by the air passing over its wings. It is said to draw attention of the predator to the bird in flight and warn any birds remaining on the ground.
The bird swings its tail high in the air upon landing. The Crested Pigeon is generally inactive by nature and can be seen mainly in flocks.
The Crested pigeon lays two eggs at a time. The eggs are white, glossy and oval in shape. The eggs are incubated by both parents and normally hatch after 3 weeks. The Crested Pigeon breeds throughout the year, but especially in the summer months. The bird breeds freely in captivity as well. An elaborate mating dance is displayed by the male bird to attract the female bird. The bird opens and closes its wings like a fan while bobbing its body up and down. Soft hooting accompanies the bobbing. The female remains motionless as the male approaches, if interested. A platform of twigs forms the nest which is usually in shrubs or trees.
Green vegetation, small insects, small bulbs and seeds form a major part of the Crested Pigeon’s diet. The bird has recently been known to favor exotic seed crops as well as introduced weeds.
Crested Pigeons are extremely social and do not fear human contact, thus making it possible to have them as pets. A tamed bird becomes loyal and faithful to its owner. Food available for pigeons usually consists of seed-only, diets which are pelleted or extruded. This needs to be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Oyster shell and grit can be given for calcium. Fresh water must be provided every day.