Nicobar Pigeon – 12 Strikingly Beautiful Facts

By Alberto Roy

Updated on:

Nicobar Pigeon

Even the Nicobar Pigeon is among the most amazing of many species of pigeons or doves and will be the sole surviving member of this genus Caloenus. It’s located at the Islands of Nicobar, south west peninsular Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Solomans along with palau.

Once understood to be seen in abundance in its own range, their amounts from the wild have been declining since they’re often recorded for pet commerce and searched for food.

Even the dodo bird was extinct, but it still has relatives living in the world these days. Called the Nicobar pigeon, this uncommon monster is your nearest living link to this famous flightless bird, but both do not look alike.

One striking distinction is that the Nicobar pigeon’s brilliant plumage that excels in iridescent blues, coppers, and greens–along with the red legs and little white tail.

This vibrant characteristic developed due to their place; the bird has been isolated on islands and lacked natural predators. Since there’s no need to hide themselves, they could create the colorful feathers.

Nicobar Pigeon Information

Nicobar Pigeon 1

Even the Nicobar pigeon resides in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, by the Nicobar Islands eastward to areas including Thailand and Papua New Guinea.

Although its precise population count is uncertain that the species has been in decline due to deforestation and the launch of non-native predators (such as cats and rats ) to those islands.

Even the Nicobar pigeon is currently regarded ”near threatened” with conservation attempts suggested to assist the birds flourish.

Slightly bigger than other pigeons in 40 cm, it’s a dark slaty gray body with glistening metallic blue-green and copper-bronze upperparts. It can readily be distinguished by its own shiny mane-like throat hackles and sharply contrasting white tail coverts and tail.

Females are somewhat smaller in dimension than men with shorter throat hackles and brownish beneath parts. Youngs are created dull gray with no neck hackles along with also a bronzy green tail rather than white.

nicobar pigeon appearance

It’s known to stay solitary and can be located in flocks of 20-30. Although its flight is fast and strong, and capable of keeping long distances, then it chooses to feed completely on the floor, choosing fleshy seeds and fruits away from the forest ground.

In classes, they speak with one another by uttering harsh guttural croaks. Throughout the breeding period in January to March, females create nests by broadly putting together transports high on evergreen trees, in which they are able to safely put eggs.

Pigeons are generally stated to be too prevalent and also a hassle. However, fulfill the Nicobar pigeon — a stunning bird, as a result of its vibrant plumage.

PetCareStores informs you about its habitat, diet, along with other fascinating info.

Powerful Stomachs!

nicobar pigeon 2

Among the adaptations of the birds is they have an extremely powerful gizzard (the component of the gut used for grinding food). This assists them feed hard nuts that individuals can consume just after beating them.

The Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) is among the biggest pigeons and is the sole member of its genus. It’s likewise referred to as vulturine pigeon, hackled pigeon, or white-tailed pigeon.

It’s a gorgeous plumage, unlike its close relative the dodo ( grey ). These birds have been observed only in certain areas of earth, such as the Andaman and Nicobar islands in Southeast Asia.

They try their very best to keep distance from people as well as other creatures that are parasitic. Their behaviour is rather different in another pigeons and doves.

Very little is understood and researched about these gorgeous birds. Their sightings are possible however, they strain on quite distant (no individual habitat) islands. Let us attempt to acquire more info about these.

Scientific Classification

✦ Kingdom: Animalia
✦ Phylum: Chordata
✦ Class: Aves
✦ Subclass: Neornithes
✦ Infraclass: Neognathae
✦ Superorder: Neoaves
✦ Order: Columbiformes
✦ Family: Columbidae
✦ Genus: Caloenas
✦ Species: C. Nicobarica

Look of Nicobar Pigeon

nicobar pigeon 3

✦ It’s a sturdy body Using a little head, long legs and legs, and a tiny white tail. The adults grow up to 16 inches and can weigh approximately 1 pound. The females could be on the thicker side.

✦ The feathers around the head and the throat are blue grey. The mane is coated with iridescent, purple-colored extended hackles.

✦ The Thighs are purplish crimson in colour and possess very long yellow claws. Their hooked invoices are black in colour and have a dark knob close to the bottom. The juveniles deficiency a pristine white tail.

✦ They’ve iridescent Feathers in colors of blue with gold and coppery overtones.

✦ The man and the female have exactly the same plumage however they could be distinguished readily. The man is bigger than the female also includes a brown iris, although the lady has a white iris. Additionally, the females have a bigger knob in their invoices.

Range, Habitat, and Diet

Nicobar Pigeons

✦ It Is located mostly in South East Asia and the Pacific. Its range begins in the Nicobar Islands in the Andaman Sea to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, then Papua New Guinea.

They’re Also located on portions of the Solomon Islands and Palau, Myanmar, and also the islands nearby Cambodia and Vietnam.

✦ They favor a habitat of little and subtropical forests, in which they make initial forests to feed . They’re also found close to forests and mangroves since they require a steady supply of meals.

Despite the fact that they are dispersed over a rather wide selection, they’re very seldom seen since they like to occupy the disturbed islands. These critters are absolutely nomadic since they will continue moving to various islands.

✦ These creatures feed on various fruits, seeds, and also a few little insects. Their powerful gizzard assists them feed nuts that have very tough shells.

Breeding of Nicobar Pigeon

Nicobar Pigeon 4

✦ From the wild, these Birds breed in areas where there’s not any human intervention. Additionally, these birds are monogamous, and therefore, partner for life.

The season begins with courtship where men are observed bowing and displaying their bright plumage. The courtship phase can last for a couple of days.

✦ These birds may breed yearlong. The male chooses the nesting website and collects all of the essential materials. The feminine then arouses them. These birds don’t make complex pieces as they untidily utilize just a few twigs and dried leaves, but simply to avoid the egg from penetrating down.

The nests are constructed in trees, but but maybe not quite far in the floor. They could construct it higher when in a troubled area. Occasionally, one nest invites another flock members to construct nests at precisely the exact same tree.

✦ The Female lays just one egg per clutch. The egg is elliptical in shape and white with a bluish tinge. Both parents take turns at incubating the egg for a span of 3 weeks. After the chick is born, it’s nude and altricial, so entirely determined by its parents.

The adults regurgitate their food and then feed the chick a harvest milk. The fledglings get impartial just after a month, however, opt to remain in the nest to get a few longer.

The juveniles possess a dark-colored tail until two decades after which they get the mature tail.

✦ The Mum can put another clutch following the first chick is 40 weeks . Their lifespan is — 12 years from the wild, also 10 — 15 years in captivity.

Some Truth About Nicobar Pigeon

Nicobar Pigeon 5

✦ These birds have been observed traveling in large flocks, nearly around 85 birds. They invest their day looking for berries, seeds, and insects at the woods. Throughout the daytime, they don’t mind human existence, however at night, they favor and migrate into deserted islands.

✦ The white tail of the birds could be prominently seen when they’re flying. The tail guides additional birds while flying at night or even in the dim. Everybody follows every other’s tail also handles to fly in a hurry.

✦ These critters have the capacity to suck water up (such as we do out of a straw). This attribute is shared with all pigeons, although other creatures need to appear to take from water.

✦ These critters have the Capability to suck water up (such as we do out of a straw). This attribute is shared with all pigeons, although other creatures need to appear to take from water.

✦ Some birds have been known to maintain their throat plumage vertical, particularly men in courtship, or even occasionally, in aggression.

✦ These aren’t too vocal birds however they generally coo. They create a noise that looks like a pig grunting, to frighten and threaten predators.


Nicobar Pigeon 6

Unfortunately, this vibrant Species was indicated as ”Near Threatened” by the IUCN. The Specific population Is unknown however, the amounts have been decreasing. Clearance of islands and also the Forest regions have caused their reduction.

Additionally, predators such as rats and cats were Introduced from the breeding regions that have killed most of these. Last but not The very least, Hunting! These birds have been killed for pet food trade, and for their Gizzard stone.

The gizzard stones have been sold as jewellery. Many have been accepting Attempts to conserve this species. Hopefully, achievement comes their way!

This species has been classified as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List and recorded in Appendix 1 of CITES because their numbers from the wild have been on the decrease.

These critters are recorded for meals, pet commerce and also their gizzard stones that are utilized to make jewelry.

Their supply is also being influenced by habitat loss as the islands that they occupy are being removed for plantations, along with being chased by rodents, cats and other predators that are alien.

Habitat of Nicobar Pigeon

Nicobar Pigeon 7

In the Wild: The Nicobar pigeon is found in Southeast Asia – from India eastward, on the Nicobar islands to New Guinea, and in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They prefer mangroves and lowland forests.

  • Exhibit Location: Diversity of Birds

Characteristics of Nicobar Pigeon

Nicobar Pigeon 8

  • Length: 16 inches (females slightly smaller); Weight: 1 pound (females slightly heavier)
  • Males are metallic-green/blue with coppery reflections. The head and flight feather colors are slate blue to black.
  • They have a “mane” of long, hair-like feathers around the neck. The long neck feathers, called hackles, are black and purple iridescence. The very short tail is pure white. Females have shorter neck hackles.
  • Males have a small black knob at the base of the bill near the forehead. The bill is strong and hooked.
  • They have a rather stocky build with a relatively small head, but long legs and wings. They have large feet with long claws.
  • Lifespan: In the Wild 8-12 years; In Captivity 10-15 years

Behaviors of Nicobar Pigeon

Nicobar Pigeon 9

  • Nicobar pigeons are highly nomadic, commuting between islands. They fly to larger islands and the mainland during the day to feed in flocks of up to 85 birds. They are particularly active at dawn and dusk.
  • They only roost and breed on islands where there are no humans.
  • When they drink, they stick their bill in the water and do not have to tip their heads back to swallow like most birds.
  • Nicobars make a sound like grunting pigs when threatening others. They also make a cooing noise.
  • Enrichments at the Zoo: whole fruit and insects Reproduction
  • Nicobar pigeons are monogamous and tend to mate for life.
  • Courtship can last for days, with males cooing loudly and bowing to the females. Once the female selects a mate, the male chooses an area to nest.
  • Males gather twigs, roots, and other materials. Females arrange the materials brought back by the males. The nests are primitive and have only a few sticks to keep the eggs from rolling away.
  • One egg is produced in each clutch. Incubation is 30 days and is shared by both parents.
  • Chicks are nearly naked when born, and are “altricial,” which means the chicks need to be cared for, insulated, and fed by the parents.
  • After about 10 days, the chicks’ feathers begin to grow in. The chicks are almost independent before 1 month, but they stay in the nest a bit longer.

Diet of Nicobar Pigeon

Nicobar Pigeon 10

  • In the Wild: hard seeds, fruits, corn, some invertebrates
  • At the Zoo: pigeon pellets, paradise pellets, fruits, seeds, insects

Conservation Status

nicobar pigeon wings pattern

  • IUCN status: NT (Near Threatened); CITES: Appendix I
  • People trapping and hunting it for food, the pet trade, and clearance of wooded areas on small islands for plantations are threatening the status of the Nicobar pigeon.
  • At the present time, conservation efforts are absent and logging, fire, and farming continue to decrease their preferred habitat.
  • Predators: rats, cats Did You Know?/Fun Facts
  • The Nicobar pigeon is also known as the “hackled pigeon,” “white-tailed pigeon,” or “vulturine pigeon.”
  • They have a very muscular gizzard (the “second” stomach of a bird used for grinding food), and can eat some hard nuts that humans can only open with a hammer!
  • The Nicobar pigeon is a relative of the extinct Dodo bird.

"Passionate dog trainer with years of experience. Transforming pups into well-behaved companions through positive reinforcement and love. 🐾🐶"

Comments are closed.