Crested Pigeon

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Crested Pigeon, Ocyphaps lophotes, ranges from a size of 30cm to 35cm. Both male and females share similar appearences, with the Crested Pigeon being the only gren pigeon with a tall pointed, dark crest - earning it's name of the Crested Pigeon. The Crested Pigeon has wings that are light brown with black barring on shoulders and bronzed green/purple wing patch, edged white below. The tail is long and is darker than the main body with a white tip.

On landing the tail flicks up. The Crested Pigeon has a thick red ring of bare skin that surrounds the red/orange eye. Their bill is black, and they have deep pin/soft red. The young Crested Pigeon is duller, with a much smaller crest than the mature birds.

Feeding Habits

The Crested Pigeon feeds in small groups, on the ground. Their diet consists of seeds and plant material with irregular insects. The Crested Pigeon will always feed near a water supply suitable for their size.


The Crested Pigeon breeds mostly in spring or summer, but is able to breed at anytime. The Crested Pigeon builds it's nest as a frail platform of twigs, with incubation shared by both sexes. There are several broods each year.

Places to Look

  • Areas of human settlement, where cleared areas leave scattered trees for roosting and nesting.
  • Roadsides
  • Telephone wires
  • Watercourses
  • Wooded grasslands
  • Farm dams


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

Crested Pigeon © Birdlife Townsville 2008

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