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SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Caloenas nicobarica

HABITAT:  Mangrove and lowland forests of the Pacific islands from the Nicobar Islands to new Guinea and the Solomons.


FUN FACT:  Nicobar pigeons are very nomadic.  They travel between many small off-shore islands to feed, sometimes reaching larger islands or the mainland.  Their flight is swift and powerful, and they can fly long distances without resting.

DIET:  Fallen fruits and seeds.  Their large, muscular gizzard can grind large nuts that humans would need a hammer to crack.  They keep quartz crystals in the gizzard to make it even more efficient.

DESCRIPTION:  The Nicobar pigeon is a large pigeon with a “mane” of long, hair-like feathers around the neck.  The plumage is dark overall, with a contrasting white tail.  The long neck feathers, called hackles, are black with purple iridescence.  The upper parts are dark green, and the underparts are iridescent green and blue.  The beak is black with an enlarged cere (fleshy swelling around the base of the beak).  Males and juveniles have brown eyes, while females have white eyes.  Females also have shorter hackles and are browner overall.  Juveniles do not have hackles, and they are entirely brownish black, including the tail.  They gain their adult plumage after their first molt.  In flight, this species can be easily distinguished from other pigeons by its long neck, long broad wings and very short tail.  It is 15-17 inches long.


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