Western Crowned Pigeon: New Guinea Wonderbird

2011 March 16
by David J. Ringer
Western Crowned Pigeon. Scientific name: Goura cristata

Western Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata) at the National Zoo. I don’t often post captive bird images, but the fact is, this bird is just too fabulous not to share. It looks like it’s vogueing at a masquerade ball! Crowned pigeons (there are three species) are equivalent in size and weight to Black Vultures; they are the world’s largest pigeons. See the Birdlife species fact sheet for the Western Crowned Pigeon’s range, habitat, and conservation status. I saw its spectacular cousin, the Victoria Crowned Pigeon, in the wild in 2006, an experience that still ranks among the highlights of my birding career: The Pigeon with Stars in Its Hair.

Related posts:

  1. The pigeon with stars in its hair
  2. Red-eyed blackbirds
  3. Red-necked Grebe and western specialties
  4. Learning all over again: Paris to Yaounde
  5. Bienvenido a Costa Rica
2 Responses
  1. March 16, 2011

    I share your reservations about photographing in zoos, David, but this is a wonderful photo — like a classic portrait. Two things in particular: to me, the perfectly clean, neutral background focuses attention on the bird in a kind of ‘contextless’ way that I think fits zoo photos — it’s not pretending to be in a natural environment — and kudos for being upfront about it.

    Unfortunately, zoo photos are likely to be the only kind nearly all of us will ever get of far too many species.

  2. March 17, 2011

    what a lovely portrait, they’re beautiful birds.

    I’ve enjoyed browsing your blog, so many wonderful photos!

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