Nicobar’s Bird of Paradise

If you thought pigeons were the most average birds you’d ever seen, think again! Meet the pigeon with so much swag, we need sunglasses!

The Andaman and Nicobar islands are India’s paradise that not too many people travel to. White sands, gorgeous emerald waters and the opportunity to experience solitude with a spectacular view. If you haven’t been there already, you might want to reconsider your next trip to some overly popular holiday destination and go here instead. I mean, in the voice of Chandler Bing, can this BE anymore breathtaking?

On these islands lives an interesting little bird. You would probably think it’s your average grey colored pigeon because it’s called a pigeon.

Photo(R) : Isn’t this the coolest pigeon you’ve ever seen?; Photo Source: https://flic.kr/p/SchAP7

Introducing the Nicobar Pigeon!

But a metallic green plumage, green and copper hackles, red legs and feet, and a pure white tail all tell us that this pigeon is on a tropical vacation for life! Let’s take a second to look at this stylish bird and think about how boring our black, white and grey wardrobe is.

An interesting fact about the Nicobar pigeon is that they are the only living member left of the genus Caloenas, making them the closest relative of the now extinct dodo. They measure about 16 inches; males being slightly bigger than females. They earn their luster with age so, young ones don’t shine as bright. They have a tendency to fly in single files or columns, as opposed to loose flocks. Their white tails help in navigation of the flock, finding potential mates and even recognizing the capabilities of those who can lead the flock.

When iridescence is life; Photo courtesy: https://flic.kr/p/e4v1nD

Habitat

The Nicobar pigeon is also found on many beaches of South East Asia, primarily Myanmar, Thailand, the Malaysian peninsula, Cambodia, Vietnam and smaller islands in the South China, Java and Philippine Seas. They live in large colonies on offshore islets, where it is safe from predators. Having said that, they’re not shy birds. Human settlements don’t inhibit these birds who could even prefer to be around us as they love eating grains! Their foods also include buds, fruits, and seeds that they digest with the help of a gizzard stone. They live in nests made of loose sticks, using them to lay a single light blue egg.

Welcome to my humble abode!; Photo courtesy: https://pixabay.com/en/nicobar-pigeon-pigeon-bird-nest

Testing times for these beauties

But beauty comes with a price. Unfortunately, these birds are captured to be sold as pets and to zoos while many are often killed for their gizzard stone that is used in jewelry. They’re even hunted for food. Though these practices seem sustainable for the time being as they are present in large numbers, these birds are considered a threatened species. Maybe it’s a good time to appreciate these beautiful birds in their natural habitat and let them live their super chilled-out island life!

 

Edited by Dominic D’Cruz