Striking bright blue Victoria Crowned-pigeon with a magnificent crown.

Stunning new bird species lands at Newquay Zoo

Newquay Zoo in Cornwall has just become home to a flamboyant new bird in the form of a Victoria Crowned-pigeon.

Despite being part of the pigeon family, this species looks nothing like the common wood pigeons found in the towns and villages of the UK. Hailing from Papua New Guinea, the Victoria Crowned-pigeon is bright blue, with a maroon breast and a majestic crown of plumage. 

Weighing more than 2kg, this ground-dwelling bird is the largest living species of pigeon in the world. The only member of the pigeon family to dwarf the Victoria Crowned-pigeon was the dodo, which became extinct in the 1600s.

Dan Trevelyan, Senior Animal Keeper at Newquay Zoo, said: “The Victoria Crowned-pigeon was named after Queen Victoria, so we thought that it was only right to name the new founding male of our collection Albert, or Bertie for short!

“We’re sure the species will be a crowning addition to our award-winning Gems of the Jungle walkthrough exhibit.”

Newquay Zoo also hopes to receive a female Victoria Crowned-pigeon in the New Year, as the keepers aim to form an important breeding pair to boost the captive population. The species is rapidly declining in the wild, due to hunting, trapping and the deforestation of their natural habitats.

By breeding species like the Victoria Crowned-pigeon, zoos like Newquay Zoo can play a vital part in boosting the number of animals worldwide.

Newquay Zoo is part of Wild Planet Trust, a conservation organisation that is helping to halt species decline both here in the UK and abroad. It also runs Paignton Zoo in Devon, three nature reserves in the South West and a number of international field projects that support both individual species and wild habitats.

For further details about Wild Planet Trust, click on the link below: