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Highlighting the Victoria crowned pigeon

Highlighting the Victoria crowned pigeon

Hello everyone! This is Josh from the Bird Department. I want to take a minute today to highlight one species of bird that I have the opportunity to care for every day, the Victoria crowned pigeon! It is one of seven species currently housed in our Grigsby Aviary and is the bird I hear the most comments about while I’m working in the aviary.

A part of the family Columbidae, these birds are closely related to the pigeons and doves that we are familiar with here in Georgia. This often surprises our guests due to their beautiful blue plumage and their large size, often around 30 inches long! These large birds can weigh in at over 5 pounds, making them  the largest species of pigeon on the planet! Besides their large size, the other feature most commented on about these birds is the loud booming call that our male pigeon makes. He will often make this noise as I, or other keepers, are working in his space. It’s his way of letting us know that we are in his territory. Often times, they will follow team members around the habitat as we are cleaning. You will notice that neither he nor his mate are too bothered by us being there. In the wild, these birds are often found during the day foraging on the ground looking for seeds, berries, and nuts. Our birds at Zoo Atlanta have similar habits, spending most of the day on the ground eating a wide variety of fruits, and also a bird food pellet that offers complete nutrition.

In the wild, the biggest threat is to Victoria crowned pigeons is deforestation for palm oil plantations. One of the biggest ways that we can help the wild population is to eliminate using unsustainably grown palm oil.

On your next visit to Zoo Atlanta, make sure you stop by to see the Victoria crowned pigeons and the other birds that reside in the Grigsby Aviary!

Josh M.
Keeper II, Birds

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl