September 22nd, 2018

Torresian imperial pigeon - Ducula spilorrhoa

Today's picture is of an imperial pigeon.

Without saying much, this pigeon is huge, and one of the largest I have seen in my lifetime. It is about the same size as a hawk, just without the relative wingspan. It makes an odd cooing noise, and it is quite offputting. The noise registers more like an owl than a pigeon.

Imperial pigeons today are a registered engendered species. Because when northern QLD was being established, hundreds were killed as they thought they were a pest, or going to be.  Much like the smaller common rock dove. I can only humour the idea by the bird's size; as small pigeons are a problem, and this is like an elephant by comparison. Today numbers are improving, however, they did suffer a huge blow during the colonisation of the tropics.

These pigeons make a small untidy nest out of sticks, and can often be found nesting in palm trees in north QLD. Numbers are increasing thanks to awareness, and education programs too. Thankfully this birds population is recovering, but still requires monitoring.