When it comes to beautiful bird species, pigeons are probably the last thing on most people’s minds. They are one of the most common types of birds in the world.
Cities everywhere are teeming with them and almost everyone has some sort of story related to an interaction with the pigeons in the parks.
Typically, it involves getting pooped on. Yes, pigeons are most commonly associated with being dirty and invading public spaces. However, it turns out, not all pigeons are created equally.
There are actually 310 species of pigeons currently documented and some of them are pretty spectacular.
Take, for example, the Victoria crowned pigeon. It is one of the most beautiful bird species in the world, or at least, that was our first impression when we originally saw the pictures of them. While we understand that beauty can come in all shapes and sizes, just check out this incredible bird and tell us we’re wrong.
The Victoria crowned pigeon is blessed with amazing bluish-gray feathers that flow over its back and tail.
The chest of the bird is more of a crimson color, varying between different hues of red and purple. Then to top it all off, its head is adorned with a sort of white-laced crest. It’s where the “crowned” part of its name comes from.
This is no common street pigeon, folks. The bird looks more like a species that would be gallantly strolling around the Royal Gardens than the type of pigeons that are busy harassing pedestrians for bread crumbs and french fries.
However, if you want to see these ground-dwelling blue pigeons in person, you are probably going to have to do some traveling.
The Victoria crowned pigeon is native to New Guinea, an island located just north of Australia. In most other countries, the bird species can only be found in zoos.
If you do happen upon one of them, likely the first thing that you’ll notice in addition to its color is the sheer size of the bird.
Unlike many types of pigeons, Victoria crowned pigeons can grow as big as a turkey!
In other words, they often grow to around 30 inches long and can weigh up to eight pounds. They are the largest surviving pigeon species in the entire world. There were previously larger species of pigeons in the past, but they have since gone extinct (i.e. the dodo).
Lastly, to cover an additional thing you might be wondering… the name.
It’s clear that Victoria refers to British Monarch Queen Victoria from the late 19th century, but why is a pigeon from New Guinea named “Victoria”? The answer is pretty simple. She was the ruler sitting on the throne in England at the time the bird was first documented by English ornithologists.
The name refers more towards the splendor and extravagance associated with royalty than it does to anything related to the bird’s actual habitat. No, you probably won’t find any of this species of bird running around wild in Victoria, British Columbia, although, that would be pretty cool.
For now, unless you are ready to make a trip to the zoo or travel across the world to New Guinea, you’re just going to have to settle for checking out pictures of the species online. That’s what we’ve been doing all day.
See more stunning images of the Victoria crowned pigeon below.
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