Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #24

Chris Watson

Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes

A white Crested Pigeon

The camera doesn’t lie folks – this is not the bog standard Crested Pigeon that you are used to seeing around town. This bird has a genetic condition known as schizochroism which results in a very low level of the pigment melanin, responsible for dark colours. This is the reason for the “washed-out” look of its plumage.

            This is not an albino – that is a different condition altogether which results in no pigmentation at all. If you look closely you will see this bird still has the normal colouring on its feet and in its eye, and the markings on its wings are still present albeit a little pastel compared to the usual colouring of this species.

            This bloke was lurking around Heffernan Road, but I’m told there is a similar looking Crested Pigeon to be found around the stock feed mills in Elder Street.

Some exciting sightings this week: 

-          Ground Cuckoo-shrikes are plentiful at the moment out along the Plenty Highway.

-          A Sacred Kingfisher was overseeing proceedings at the Tangentyerre Nursery Open Day on Saturday.

-          Cinnamon Quail-thrush and Banded Whiteface have been reported down south of Erldunda.

-          Bourke’s Parrots have also been reported on the Plenty Highway this week and in sizeable flocks down near Stuart’s Well.

-          2 Wedge-tailed Eagles were seen soaking up the morning sun right in the middle of Albrecht Oval by Jesse Carpenter on Sunday.