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Island Imperial Pigeon

Ducula pistrinaria

The Island Imperial Pigeon, also known as the Floury Imperial Pigeon, is a rather stately bird, with a length of approximately 39 to 45 centimeters and a weight that hovers around 470 to 500 grams. Its plumage is a study in subtle elegance: the head and neck are adorned with pale grey, complemented by distinctive white spectacles. The upperparts boast a glossy sheen, with grey-green wing coverts and tertials, and a darker, blue-green uppertail. The underparts are a vinous throat, greyish-vinous breast, and greyish-fawn belly, creating a harmonious blend of understated colors.

Identification Tips

To identify this pigeon, look for the slaty-blue beak tipped in black, the dark red or brownish eye, and the red feet. Juveniles are a tad duller and have a buffier appearance. The various subspecies may exhibit slight variations in size and the intensity of their glossy plumage.

Habitat

The Island Imperial Pigeon is a denizen of coastal primary forests, mature secondary forests, and mangroves. It also adapts to some disturbed habitats, demonstrating a degree of flexibility in its environmental preferences.

Distribution

This species graces the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands archipelago, with its presence also noted on smaller islands to the north and east of New Guinea.

Behaviour

Typically encountered alone or in small flocks, the Island Imperial Pigeon occasionally gathers in larger numbers. It is a swift and direct flyer, often seen plucking fruits from the high canopy branches. Remarkably, it is also known to traverse the sea in search of sustenance.

Song & Calls

The vocal repertoire of this pigeon includes a rising and repeated 'c-wooooohooo' when perched upright, a loud series of descending coos during a bobbing display, and a high-pitched 'crrrrrurrr' call.

Breeding

Breeding activities have been observed from June to September and in March. The pigeon constructs its nest at the end of a branch using twigs, where it lays a single egg.

Conservation Status

The IUCN has classified the Island Imperial Pigeon as a species of Least Concern, thanks to its extensive range and stable population numbers.

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