Crowned pigeon

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Crowned pigeon
Goura victoria qtl1.jpg
Victoria crowned pigeon
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Goura
Stephens, 1819
Type species
Columba cristata
Pallas, 1764

The crowned pigeons (Goura) is a genus of birds in the family Columbidae. It contains four large species of pigeon that are endemic to the island of New Guinea. The species are alike and replace each other geographically. The genus was introduced by the English naturalist James Francis Stephens in 1819.

Systematics and evolution[edit]

The genus Goura was introduced by the English naturalist James Francis Stephens in 1819. The type species is the western crowned pigeon.[1][2] The word Goura comes from the New Guinea aboriginal name for crowned pigeons.[3]

The genus contains four species:[4]

Scheepmaker's crowned pigeon and Sclater's crowned pigeon were previously considered as conspecific with the English name "southern crowned-pigeon".[4]

A molecular phylogenetic study published in 2018 found that the four species in the genus formed two pairs: the western crowned pigeon was sister to Sclater's crowned pigeon while Scheepmaker's crowned pigeon was sister to the Victora crowned pigeon.[5]

Goura phylogeny

Western crowned pigeon

Sclater's crowned pigeon

Scheepmaker's crowned pigeon

Victoria crowned pigeon

Tooth-billed pigeon

Nicobar pigeon

Rodrigues solitaire


Cladogram showing the crowned pigeons and their closest relatives based on a study by Bruxaux and colleagues published in 2018.[5]


They are natives of New Guinea and a few surrounding islands. They forage on the forest floor eating fallen fruit, seeds and snails. The males and females are almost identical, but during courtship the male will coo and bow for the female. Both parents incubate one egg for 28 to 30 days and the chick takes another 30 days to fledge. The life span can be over 20 years.


  1. ^ Stephens, James Francis (1819). General Zoology, or Systematic Natural History (in English and Latin). Volume 11 Part 1. London: G. Kearsley. p. 119.
  2. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1937). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 3. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 140.
  3. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Pigeons". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b Bruxaux, J.; Gabrielli, M.; Ashari, H.; Prŷs-Jones, R.; Joseph, L.; Milá, B.; Besnard, G.; Thébaud, C. (2018). "Recovering the evolutionary history of crowned pigeons (Columbidae: Goura): Implications for the biogeography and conservation of New Guinean lowland birds". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 120: 248–258. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2017.11.022.