Nicobar Pigeon

Caloenas nicobarica

Nicobar pigeons have some famous, extinct relatives.

These birds are related to other pigeons and doves. However, their biggest claim to fame is a close relation to extinct bird icon the dodo.

A “big’un” for a pigeon!

Nicobar pigeons are one of the largest species of pigeon in the world. Compared to the common pigeon seen in cities, they can be four inches longer and weigh over a third more!

They drink in big gulps.

Many birds sip their water by dipping their beaks in, then tipping their head back to swallow. Nicobar pigeons go all in, submerging their beak to gulp up water.

Animal Facts

  • Range Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India and east through the Malay Archipelago to the Solomons and Palau.
  • Habitat Nicobar pigeons inhabit rainforests, dry forests, mangroves, and shrubland.
  • Diet Nicobar pigeons are herbivorous. Their diets are mainly of seeds, fruit and buds, and occasionally insects. At the Zoo, they eat a domestic bird diet including mixed grains and chopped vegetables.
  • Size Up to 16 inches in length with a wingspan between 21 and 23 inches. They can weigh up to 21 ounces.
  • Location in Zoo Australian Aviary
  • Conservation Status Nicobar pigeons are listed as Near Threatened. Their wild population is decreasing due to human actions such as hunting and deforestation.

Did You Know?

Adult Nicobar pigeons have a solid white tail. The bright white of the tail is easy for other pigeons to see as they fly in single-file lines, keeping any flock members from getting lost.