Wednesday, March 9, 2011

White-crowned Pigeon

The White-crowned Pigeon we saw in Key West was new for my United States bird-list. We were walking to a restaurant in the middle of the city when Erika looked up and asked, "Isn't that the bird you are looking for?" For once I did not have my camera--this photo was taken with my friend Mark's cell phone! Despite returning several times to the intersection where we found it, we never saw this pigeon again.

I expected to find a White-crowned Pigeon to be a shy forest resident, not perched on electrical lines in the middle of the city.  I read with interest in Bancroft and Bowman (2001) that this species has "become habituated to humans, feeding around hotels and in suburban back yards."  This bird is an obligate frugivore, which means they only eat fruit. White-crowned Pigeons are threatened throughout their Caribbean range by habitat destruction and unregulated hunting.

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