Columbiformes

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Cinnamon Ground Dove (Gallicolumba rufigula)

Also known as the golden-heart dove, red throated ground-dove or the golden-heart pigeon, Gallicolumba rufigula is a species of ground dove that is distributed throughout Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and West Papua. Like other ground doves G. rufigula lives most of its live on the ground forages mainly in the leaf litter for fallen fruits and seeds.

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Columbiformes-Columbidae-Gallicolumba-G. rufigula

Images: Peter van Zoest and Bernard Van Elegem

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Luzon Bleeding-heart Pigeon - Gallicolumba luzonica 

The characteristic feature of the shy and secretive Luzon Bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba luzonica (Columbiformes - Columbidae) is the deep red spot on its breast, which resembles a bleeding wound.

As its common name suggests, the Luzon bleeding-heart inhabits the island of Luzon in the Philippines, as well as two neighboring islands. 

Like other pigeons and doves, this one feeds its young on nutritious ‘crop milk’, a secretion from a pouch near the adult’s throat.

This species is usually rather scarce or rare, and is classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. 

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©K.S. Kong | Locality: captive - Singapore (2014) - [Top] - [Bottom]

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Pink-headed Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus porphyreus)

Also known as the Pink-necked fruit dove or Temminck’s fruit dove, the pink-headed fruit dove is a colorful species of pigeon that is endemic to the mountain forests of Sumatra, Java and Bali. Although pink-headed fruit doves generally are shy and secretive they are known to form pairs and occasionally larger flocks. Like other fruit doves this species feeds mostly on fruit, figs and small berries which it locates high in the canopies. Pink-headed fruit doves are sexually dimorphic with males sporting their famous pink head and green back, females on the other hand are duller than the males and have a weaker breast band.

Although the pink-headed fruit dove is currently listed as least concern it faces threats from habitat loss, as its very small native range is shrinking.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Columbiformes-Columbidae-Ptilinopus-P.porphyreus

Images: Nathan Rupert and David Bishop

Holocene Extinction Month #13 — Passenger Pigeon

The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) is one of the more “famous” recently-extinct species. Around 40cm long (~16in) — although half of that was its tail feathers — it was found across most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains. It was also one of the most numerous birds in the world, with flocks reported to contain over 3.5 billion individuals.

During the 1800s it was hunted on a massive commercial scale, and combined with deforestation removing its nesting sites the species’ numbers plummeted. The passenger pigeon was a highly colonial bird, requiring large numbers to successfully reproduce, and even though conservation attempts were eventually made there were too few surviving pigeons to re-establish the population. Captive breeding attempts failed for the same reason.

The last verified sighting of a wild passenger pigeon was in Ohio in March 1900. A female named Martha at the Cincinnati Zoo was the last known living individual, dying of old age on September 1, 1914.

The passenger pigeon has been proposed as a candidate for “de-extinction”, revival via cloning using DNA samples from museum specimens and the closely-related band-tailed pigeon as a surrogate parent.

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Spinifex Pigeon (Geophaps plumifera)

…a species of pigeon native to Australia. Spinifex Pigeons generally inhabit stony areas with spinifex grasses. They are nomadic and mainly terrestrial. Spinifex pigeons are seed eaters and will feed on seeds, grasses and small invertebrates. They are dependent on water and concentrate their range around the availability of water

Like the unrelated Crested Pigeon (O.lophotes) this species is one of the two species of Australian pigeons to possess a crest. They have three subspecies which are distinct in range and appearance. 

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Columbiformes-Columbidae-Geophaps-G.plumifera

Images: Wim Hoek and Harley Kingston

Crested Pigeon courtship - Ocyphaps lophotes

The Crested Pigeon, Ocyphaps lophotes (Columbiformes - Columbidae) is a relatively large, stocky pigeon with a highly distinctive appearance. As its name suggests, this species is easily recognized by its long, black, pointed crest, which is usually held erect. Ocyphaps lophotes is a species endemic to Australia.

During the breeding season, the male crested pigeon performs a display flight and courts the female with a ‘bowing’ display as seen in the photo.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Lip Kee Yap | Locality: Trin Warren Tam-boore, Royal Park, Melbourne, Australia (2008)

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Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)

Also known as the top notch pigeon, the crested pigeon is a species of pigeon found throughout mainland Australia. Like most doves and pigeons the crested pigeon is often found on the ground in small to large flocks feeding on seeds, grasses and insects. When in flight the crested pigeon makes a distinct whistling sound when it beats its wings this is thought to draw a potential predators attention to a bird in flight so the other members of the flock have time to escape. During the breeding season males will preform elaborate mating displays using their wings and heads to attempt to attract a mate. 

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Columbiformes-Columbidae-Ocyphaps-lophotes

Image Source(s)

Victoria Crowned Pigeon - Goura victoria

The Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Goura victoria (Columbiformes - Columbidae), is a huge, blue-grey and maroon terrestrial pigeon, up to 74 cm, with spectacular white-tipped sagittal crest.

Goura victoria occurs in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, where it is prized by hunters for meat and, to a lesser extent, for its feathers. The species is currently classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Frank Cornelissen | Locality: captive, Servion Zoo, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland (2011)