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Seram Mountain Pigeon

Gymnophaps stalkeri

The Seram mountain pigeon, Gymnophaps stalkeri, presents a striking figure with its medium size, measuring 33–38.5 cm in length and weighing between 330–338 grams. Its plumage is a delightful mix of colors, with a buff-pink face and breast that transitions to wine-pink underparts. The nape, crown, and back of the neck are a pale, pure blue-grey, while the belly and underside of the tail boast a dark chestnut hue with wine-grey feather fringes. The eyes of this pigeon can range from scarlet to yellow, surrounded by purplish red to scarlet orbital skin. Its bill is a vibrant yellow with a purple cere, and the legs are a deep purple.

Identification Tips

When observing the Seram mountain pigeon, look for the deep buff-pink face and breast, the wine-pink underparts, and the distinctive dark chestnut belly and underside of the tail. The pale blue-grey nape and crown are also key identification features. Juveniles can be recognized by their browner upperparts and underparts, darker tail underside, dull red orbital skin, dull red legs, and a white-tipped grey bill with a dull red cere.

Habitat

This species is a denizen of hill forests on the island of Seram in Indonesia, favoring elevations between 400–2,300 meters, though it is more commonly found above 1,200 meters. There has been a rare sighting at just 100 meters above sea level.

Distribution

The Seram mountain pigeon is endemic to Seram in the Maluku Islands, Indonesia, and does not venture beyond this lush and verdant island.

Behaviour

A highly sociable bird, the Seram mountain pigeon is often seen in flocks, which can number over 20 individuals. These flocks are a testament to the bird's communal nature.

Breeding

The breeding behavior of the Seram mountain pigeon includes a display flight observed in February, characterized by a less steep and lower trajectory compared to its Papuan relatives. The only known nest was found in September, nestled in a crevice of a dead, mossy branch within primary montane forest at an elevation of 2,300 meters. This nest, lined with twigs and moss, contained a single white egg.

Status

The IUCN has classified the Seram mountain pigeon as Least Concern, thanks to its stable population and ample range. It is reported to be more common than its Buru counterpart and is particularly abundant at altitudes of 1,300–1,700 meters.

Diet and Feeding

This pigeon has a fruit-based diet and is known to forage in flocks, which can sometimes include up to 50 birds, illustrating its gregarious feeding habits.

Conservation status

The Seram mountain pigeon enjoys a status of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, with a stable population trend and a range that is considered sufficiently large to ensure its continued survival.

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