Patrick, our Victoria Crowned Pigeon, turns a remarkable 37 years old today!
The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is the largest pigeon species in the world.
Originating from New Guinea and surrounding islands, Crowned Pigeons weigh up to 3.5kg and reach 80cm in length. They can easily be identified by their stunning fan-shaped lace crest and vibrant blue and purple plumage. They are also regarded as one of the most handsome of all pigeons and Patrick certainly doesn’t fall short in that department.
It is sad to report though, over the past decades, Victoria Crowned Pigeon numbers have significantly dropped as a result of illegal trapping and habitat loss and the birds have since been classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Patrick was hand-raised at Taronga in 1979 and is now the last remaining Crowned Pigeon in Australia. He has had a remarkably long life thanks to the high quality of care he has received over the years, as well as occasional peanuts which are his guilty pleasure. He has lived in several different exhibits throughout the zoo and we are sure he would have a lot of stories to tell.
Patrick is much loved by staff as well as Zoo guests and we will be serving him up a few extra peanuts today to celebrate his birthday. You can often find him at the front of his aviary interacting with people with his deep, booming call, so please come down and say hi to this magnificent creature! He is located in the Moore Park Aviary next to Seal Theatre.
- Corrine Symons, Keeper