The Victorian Crowned Pigeon is an unusual bird; it's elegant, brightly colored, and the largest surviving pigeon on earth. Unlike it's common cousins, the Victorian Crowned Pigeon is a beautiful bird you won't see in your back yard. It's actually endangered, seriously threatened by logging and illegal capture in its native land of New Guinea. These placid birds, that are easily tamed and the most commonly seen in zoos, mill about the forest floors and swamps in groups. They mainly eat fallen fruit, and when startled they burst into the trees with loud wing beats and sit in the branches to hoot at each other. The birds will pair off in mating season and both parents raise their single chick. The female will only lay one egg, but the chicks are able to get around quickly and will be dependent on their parents for three and a half months.
Efforts need to be taken to keep the New Guinea population healthy. The wild pigeons are learning a fear of humans since they're trapped for meat, their crests, as pets. But as their lowland forests are being downed, so does what little resources they have left. I was lucky to see a pair of these birds at the North Carolina zoo and learn about their plight half the world away.
"Crowned Victorians" 8x10" acrylic on wood. (C) Cara Bevan 2013
Prints available at FineArtAmerica.com[link]