Encountering Lopholaimus antarcticus

Quite a sizeable group were feeding in some palm trees I pass on my way down to the Yum Yum Cafe. Though they are rather large birds – about the size of a cockatoo – they were fairly high up and also were shaded. Their camouflage is actually rather good, and my camera is rather limited. But one tries.

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Lopholaimus_antarcticus_lithograph

Hand-coloured lithograph of
Lopholaimus antarcticus by Elizabeth Gould (1804–1841)

See Birds in Backyards:

The Topknot Pigeon is a large grey pigeon with a swept back crest that is grey in front and rusty red behind, giving the head an unique shape. It is darker grey above, with dark grey, rounded wings, and lighter grey below, with a pale tail band across the black tail. The eye and bill are red, and the bill has two large bluish-green bumps at the base. Females have a smaller, paler crest than males. Young birds resemble females, with more mottling and have a browner head with a much smaller crest. This species flies strongly and roosts high in tall trees. It may be seen feeding acrobatically among fruits, often hanging upside-down to reach them. It can be located by the sounds of falling fruit and its sharp screech while feeding…

Distribution:

The Topknot Pigeon is found only in Australia, from Queensland, along the coast to Broken Bay, New South Wales. It is rare in Sydney, but has been seen as far south as Tathra and Bega, and occurs inland to Inverell. Some birds have been seen in eastern Victoria and single birds have been reported in Tasmania.

Habitat:

The Topknot Pigeon is found in rainforests and nearby wet forests and woodlands, especially along moist sheltered gullies. It can also be found in drier forests and will fly across open areas to feed in rainforests or disturbed areas such as remnant forest patches, cleared farmlands, exotic trees and shrubs, particularly Camphor Laurel and privet. It is very rarely seen in suburban areas, but will forage on the outskirts of urban areas if Camphor Laurel and other fruits are available.

See also Wikipedia.

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