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!

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White-crowned Pigeon

 

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White-crowned Pigeon

 

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.

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White-crowned Pigeon

 

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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

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