|At San Diego Zoo|
Quoy & Gaimard, 1830
The metallic pigeon, (Columba vitiensis) also known as white-throated pigeon is a medium-sized, up to 37 cm long, bird in the family Columbidae.
The adult has an iridescent purple and green crown, black wing and uppertail coverts, yellowish red iris, yellow bill, red orbital skin, white or grey chin and ear coverts, and purplish feet. It has a dull chestnut or glossed purple green below, depends on subspecies. The nominate form C. v. vitiensis from Fiji has a dull underparts, while subspecies C. v. halmaheira of Maluku Islands has the most iridescent plumage. Both sexes are similar. The young is duller than adult.
The metallic pigeon is distributed to tropical forests of eastern Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa and surrounding southwest Pacific islands. A subspecies, the Lord Howe pigeon, used to exist on Lord Howe Island in Australia, but was exterminated by hunting c. 1853.
The diet consists mainly of various fruits, grains, seeds and berries. The female usually lays one to two eggs.
Widespread and common throughout its large range, the metallic pigeon is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- Higgins, P.J.; & Davies, S.J.J.F. (Eds.). (1996). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 3. Snipe to Pigeons. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553070-5