Sclater’s crowned pigeons mainly eat seeds and fallen fruit, but they have also been seen eating small crabs. These birds feed on the ground in small flocks of up to ten birds.
Sclater’s crowned pigeons are found from the south-western lowlands of Papua New Guinea to the south-eastern lowlands of West Papua, Indonesia. They live in both dry and flooded undisturbed forests.
Sclater’s crowned pigeons build a dense nest using items such as sticks, stems, palm fronds and dead leaves, 3.5 to 15 metres above the ground. They lay one egg, which is incubated for 28-30days. The chicks fledge between 28 and 36 days old.
The number of Sclater’s crowned pigeons is thought to be declining due to the loss and degradation of forests which is being caused by logging and the creation of palm oil plantations. This species is however protected by law in Papua New Guinea, and is on CITES Appendix II, which means that trading any part of the bird internationally is restricted.
When these pigeons forage for food together, they communicate with quiet, deep booms.
Pigeons drink water in a different way to most other birds. Rather than scoop up water with their bill and throw their head back to let the water run down their throats, they use their beaks like a straw to suck water up to drink.
The volunteering day was well organised and a great opportunity to give back to Marwell and offer a little help. We all had a great day and most definitely be back to help where we can, also recommend to anyone else who can offer their time. Paul, SSE, 23rd May 2018