It is with great sadness we inform you that Patrick our Victoria Crowned Pigeon passed away last month due to age related illnesses. Being the largest pigeon in the world was a pretty impressive achievement in itself, but Patrick had also recently celebrated his 37th year at Taronga.
Originating from New Guinea and surrounding islands, Crowned-pigeons are the largest pigeons in the world weighing up to 3.5kg and reaching 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 didn’t fall short in that department.
It is also sad to report, over the past decades, Victoria crowned-pigeons have significantly dropped in numbers as a result of illegal trapping and habitat loss and have since been classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Patrick was hand-raised at Taronga in 1979 and was the last remaining Crowned-pigeon in Australia. He had a remarkably long life thanks to the high quality of care and affection he received over the years and was much loved by staff as well as zoo guests.
He will be deeply missed.
- Taronga Bird Keeper, Corrine Symons