Southern Crowned Pigeon
Goura scheepmakeri

AKA: Scheepmaker's Crowned Pigeon, Sclater's Crowned Pigeon, Maroon-breasted crowned

ŠJohn White

(All pictures above are the race: Goura scheepmakeri sclaterii)

Goura scheepmakeri scheepmakeri
Note: there is no maroon coloration on wing shoulder.

Distribution: Can be found in the Southern & south-eastern New Guinea. Seen in flocks of from 3 to 7 birds, but flocks as large as 30 birds have been recorded. Can be seen in the closed canopy rainforests, open drier forests including the seasonally flooded areas.

Races: G. s. scheepmakeri - nominate race (Finsch 1875); G. s. sclaterii (Salvadori 1876) - These races differ mainly in the shade of grey on the upperparts & the distribution of the maroon coloration on the wings & underparts.

Description: Length 70 cm. Similar in size & shape to the other 2 species of Crowned Pigeons. The "crest" feathers are longer & more lacy then the Blue Crowned Pigeon. The back and wing shields lack the greyish scaling effect found in the sub species G. s. sclaterii; Lesser wing coverts uniformly blue grey lacking the maroon fringes. The paler areas of the greater wing coverts  more pearly white rather than creamy white. The foreneck is dark blue grey (G. s. sclaterii has maroon foreneck) breast is rich purplish maroon extending further back & becoming duller & paler on the belly area (G. s. sclaterii has a grey merging into the blue black color on the belly, vent & thigh areas). Tail feathers dark blue grey having a pale grey band at tip ends. Iris deep red; bill blackish or bluish grey; legs & feet purplish red. Sexes alike. Juvenile: black eye mask less defined, wing coverts duller & greyer with ill defined maroon fringes; the greater coverts white lacking the maroon spots, wings duller & browner. Breast maroon, less purple with brownish grey feather bases forming a mottled appearance, legs & feet paler. Both races prone to melanism. Main visual differences between the two races is the amount & placement of the maroon on the throat, wing shields & belly areas (see drawing below).

Nesting: Single white egg; incubated by both parents for 28-30 days; parents tend fledged young for several more weeks.