Crested Pigeon

We don’t always look closely at common birds and some of them are beautiful; I think Crested Pigeons fall into this category.


Crested Pigeon 1 - Kim Wormald

Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)
Canon 7DII, 1/800, f/5.6, ISO 800, focal length 400mm

Along with having one of the strangest scientific names I’ve seen, Crested Pigeons have lovely plumage. Much of their colouring is a soft blue-grey-brown blushed with pink. Their wings are barred with black and have iridescent patches that glow depending on the angle of light. Their legs and feet are bright red, a tiny part of leg can be seen in the image above. And most striking of all is the pigeon’s head with its long, thin crest and bright orange eye surrounded with bare reddish skin.

Crested Pigeons are relatively common across most of Australia, excluding Tasmania; they are about 33cm long and weigh approximately 200g.


Crested Pigeon 2 - Kim Wormald

Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)
Canon 7DII, 1/800, f/5.6, ISO 800, focal length 300mm


When Crested Pigeons take off their wings make a magical whistling sound which is created by air passing a specially modified wing feather. They characteristically lift their tails when they land as if balancing their sturdy little bodies. I was pleased with the way the shrub in the background provided a kind of halo for the pigeon’s head and crest.

This pigeon moved gradually towards me as it foraged, it was focussing on seeds but also took a couple of insects. The expression on its face makes me smile, I guess it’s not often it comes across someone flat out on the ground taking photographs.

Happy birding, Kim


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