Pheasant Pigeons
Otidiphaps nobilis

AKA: Magnificent Ground Pigeon, Noble Ground Pigeon

pic John Pire                                                                  pic Crimson Lam
Green-naped Pheasant Pigeon (O. n. nobilis)

pics Crimson Lam
White-naped Pheasant Pigeon (O. n. aruensis)

Distribution: Found in the hill & mountin rainforest areas of New Guinea & the satellite islands of Aru, Waigeo, Batanta, Yapen & Fergusson. 

Four races recognized: O. n. nobilis (Gould 1870); O. n. cervicalis (Ramsay 1880); O. n. insularis (Salvin & Godman 1883); O. n. aruensis (Rothschild 1928). Races are similar with differences in the color of the nuchal patch, presence or absence of a crest & the color of the body iridescence.

Description: (O. n. nobilis - Green-naped Pheasant Pigeon) Length 46 cm. A large ground dwelling pigeon. In general appearance it is suggestive of a pheasant except for the typical pigeon head. Body is plump & compact, the wings short & rounded. The tail is "laterally" flat. Has long slender legs, slender neck & small head.  Head is black with a short nuchal crest with blue & green iridescence. Breast & underparts blackish glossed with purple or bluish purple except on the belly where there is more of a greenish iridescence. The nape & upper part of the hind neck is iridescent green & in some lights amethyst. Directly behind this area is a patch of deep golden bronze suffused with  pink & purple. The back & mantle  is iridescent reddish purple shading to chestnut on wing shields. Underwing is dull black. The lower back is dark purple shading to dark purplish blue on upper tail coverts; tail feathers black with greenish suffusion. Irides are orange or orange-red; eye cere (orbital skin) is red. Bill is bright red & may having an orange tip. Legs are red or purple at the tarsal joint & down the sides of the leg; the frontal plates of the legs are yellow or salmon; feet black or red suffused with black. Female similar to male; juveniles greyer that adults, having a wooly feather texture. 
O. n. aruensis: has little or no nuchal crest, chest iridescence more greenish, nutchal patch silvery white to snowy white.
O. n. cervicalis: resembles O. n. aruensis with the nutchal patch pale greyish white bordered below  with a bronze area, the lower back & rump darker green or bluish green rather than purple or blue.
O. n. insularis: this is the most distinct of the races; lacks the crest & nutchal patch; mantle & wing shields chestnut with no iridescence;  greenish lower back, dark purple rump & uppertail coverts royal blue.

Nesting: Prefers nesting on or near the ground; one cream colored egg; incubation 28-29 days; when egg is hatching both adults may sit on the nest together with bills touching & heads lowered to the nest. For the first week after hatching, the male feeds the hen on the nest & the hen in turn feeds the youngster. After the first week, both parents brood the young & presumably both feed the young. Data source: Houston Zoological Gardens.