Lip Kee Yap
Species group: Exotic Doves and Pigeons
Other common names: Baldpate, White-headed Dove
Scientific name: Patagioenas leucocephala
A fruit-eater rather than a seed-eater, the handsome White-crowned Pigeon is more challenging to feed than many dove species and is unlikely to be the right choice for a beginner.
A small part of the White-crowned Pigeon's range falls within the United States, so this species is protected by law there as a native bird. You will need to check with your local wildlife authorities to find out what permits you will need to be allowed to hold this pigeon.
The scientific name for the White-crowned Pigeon was fairly recently changed from Columba leucocephala, so you can find a great deal of information about this species under the old name. In short, it's an arboreal fruit-eating dove of the mangrove forests of many Caribbean islands, the Florida Keys and southern Florida, and Mexico and Central America According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the White-crown should be considered a near-threatened species because the lowland mangrove forest is under pressure from human development. The Bahamas National Trust reported in 2010 that the biggest threat to the remaining population was illegal hunting.
As the name suggests, the White-crowned Pigeon is a gray pigeon that stands out because of the snow white crown on the adult bird's head. The crown is large enough to include the striking white eyes
150 - 300 grams (5.3 - 10.6 oz.)
29 - 35 centimeters (11.5 - 14 in.)
12 - 14 years
Behavior / temperament:
White-crowned Pigeons may be gentle toward their human keepers, but they have reportedly killed other doves placed in their aviaries, so respect their territorial instincts and provide each pair with its own flight.
Like most other exotic doves, White-crowned Pigeons become territorial in breeding season and could attack or even kill other doves on the territory. Therefore you should plan on keeping only one pair to a pen or aviary. These fruit-eaters exercise by flying and also enjoy a more arboreal lifestyle than the ground-foraging doves, so you may need to supply a surprisingly large flight. They are not appropriate cage-birds.
Experience with the commonly held pigeons might mislead you when feeding the White-crowned pigeon. The overwhelming majority of the diet is fruit, not seed, and the birds may rely on a surprisingly large variety of fruit indeed. In the Bahamas, the species reportedly consumes at least 50 different species of wild fruit. However, successful breeder John Pire did provide a seed mix, in addition to a homemade softbill mix which included mixed vegetables, chopped fruit, and a dog pellet that included added cheese. Like all pigeons, they also demand clean grit and water.
Written by Elaine Radford
shy birds, wild instincts
large enclosure, large enclosure
White crowned pigeon
These birds are alot larger than the ring necked doves and very aggressive. it was surprising to see the male bird being aggressive to his female counterpart and even more brutal to the smaller Zenaida doves and ring necked doves that shared the same enclosure. these birds are better in a large enclosure with dark secluded areas as they tend to be easily agitated. Even though I got the Pair rite from the nest and fed them by hand until they were fully feathered it would appear that the wild instincts cannot be tempered, which I suspect helps them tremendously in the wild. Beautiful to look at but in my experience thus far with them, not easily tamed though other bird enthusiasts give me much different accounts so I am eager to try and raise a pair of these shy birds again.
From Suchen Mar 5 2014 9:05PM