Crested Pigeon

Crested Pigeon sitting on the dirt floor by some shrubbery.

What does it look like? There are only two Australian pigeon species that possess a crest.  The Spinifex Pigeon is markedly smaller, with cinnamon coloured plumage and a bright red facial patch.  The Crested Pigeon is a robust, soft pink and grey pigeon, with a long black crest, with a small pinkish-red ring around the eye.  If startled it takes to the air with a characteristic whistling flight, and glides with downturned wings, and, upon landing, it swings its tail high in the air.  

Where does it live? This native pigeon is common in much of mainland Australia.

What are its habitats and habits? The Crested Pigeon may be found in any habitat, with the exception of the denser forests and wetter coastal areas, but is seldom far from water.  It is often encountered alone or in small parties that busily feed on the ground or perch on a sunlit tree branch.  Food consists mostly of seeds, although some leaves and insects are taken.

Interesting fact: The whistling sound, made during flight, is produced by air rushing past a reduced primary wing feather. 

Scientific name: Ocyphaps lophotes

Size: 30 to 35cm

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store