Topknot Pigeon Click to enlarge image
Topknot Pigeon Image: Trevor Andersen
creative commons

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    antarcticus
    Genus
    Lopholaimus
    Family
    Columbidae
    Order
    Columbiformes
    Class
    Aves
    Phylum
    Chordata
  • Size Range
    Up to 60 cm.

Large grey pigeon, red bill and eyes, grey crest.

Identification

Large grey pigeon with a swept back crest that is grey in front and rusty-red behind, giving the head a unique shape. The body is darker grey above, with lighter grey below. It has dark grey, rounded wings with a pale tail band across the otherwise black tail. The eyes and bill are red. Females have a smaller, paler crest than males. Young birds resemble females, with a more mottled appearance and a browner head with a much smaller crest.

Habitat

Rainforests and nearby wet forests and woodlands, especially along moist sheltered gullies.

Distribution

Eastern Australia.



Seasonality

It is nomadic and highly mobile, following seasonally-abundant fruit. In Sydney, birds arrive from the north in autumn and winter.

Feeding and diet

It is a frugivore, feeding on a variety of rainforest fruits, as well as those of introduced species such as Camphor Laurels. It may be seen feeding acrobatically among fruits, often hanging upside-down to reach them. It can be located by the sounds of falling fruit and its sharp screech while feeding. It is very rarely seen in suburban areas, but will forage on the outskirts of urban areas if fruits are available.

Breeding behaviours

They form monogamous breeding pairs after an elaborate courtship of bowing and parading. Males also fly very high over the canopy to attract females. Nests are built in the crowns of the trees, from 2 m to 12 m above the ground.