White-crowned Pigeon is Crowned #200
I fretted about not having my long lens in Key West; but somehow I really lucked out with this next bird, the White-crowned Pigeon, crowned #200 on my photographed bird lifer list!
Just as other birds, if the lighting hits just right, you can see the White-crowned Pigeon’s iridescent green feathers at the back of its neck.
A resident of the Caribbean islands and coastlines, the White-crowned Pigeon’s farthest northern range is south Florida. It feeds almost entirely on fruits of hardwood trees.
I spotted this pigeon in a tree along the outside walkway around our hotel’s third floor. Not only did it give me a few beautiful poses, it also dropped down in front of me on the below overhang to gather sticks. Hmmmm…..
White-crowned Pigeon gathering nesting materials
Instead of taking off and away, it was flying back up high into the tree. Ah-ha! I finally saw the nest with it’s mate brooding.
White-crowned Pigeon nest with mate brooding inside
I wondered if I could see the nest from the floor above. And there it was, at eye level, with an adult incubating. The nest was actually hidden quite well, had I not known to look deep into the tree from several angles.
White-crowned Pigeon incubating on nest
After two shots, I left and never went back to check on them so not to cause stress and also to not give a clue to other people on the nest’s hidden location.
The White-crowned Pigeon is threatened throughout its range. It is estimated the global breeding population is about 550,000 with 1% living in the United States and 4% in Mexico. Now protected in Florida, the White-crowned Pigeon is unfortunately still hunted extensively in Caribbean countries.
Stay safe in Key West, Florida, White-crowned Pigeon family!