Rare pigeon hatches at ZSL London Zoo
Friday 9 October 2009
A rare Victoria crowned pigeon hatched out of its shell last month, and is the very first of its kind to have been bred at the Zoo.
The chick, whose sex is still unknown, is making great progress - having left the nest this week - and enjoys nothing better than exploring its surroundings under the watchful eyes of mum and dad.
Known for their distinctive crown feathers and beautiful blue colouring, crowned pigeons are the largest members of their family, measuring in at an impressive 70cm tall – the same height as a turkey.
Senior Curator John Ellis said: “To breed the Victoria crowned pigeon is a fantastic accomplishment for our bird team, especially as this species is rapidly declining in the wild.
"ZSL is part of a European breeding programme for this species and our chick will help form a very important captive, back-up population.”
Victoria crowned pigeons originate from New Guinea and are listed as Vulnerable on the 2006 World Conservation Union (IUCN) Redlist.
The major threats to this species include hunting and logging.
The baby Victoria crowned pigeon is a colourful new addition to the Blackburn Pavilion, ZSL London Zoo's tropical bird exhibit.