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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Creature Feature: Bleeding Heart Pigeon.

We've said it before and will say it again: Pigeons are underrated. They go far beyond the feathered rodents that can now be found around the world. Hell, doves and pigeons are the same thing, only one is white and the other is shiny. That is how little people really seem to know about pigeons: to most people, a pigeon is a feathered disease-bag, but, if it's white, it's suddenly the embodiment of Jesus.

This is saying nothing about wild pigeons. The amount of stunningly beautiful wild pigeons is staggering. The last of these we covered was the Gaga-cuno pigeon, AKA the Victoria Crowned Pigeon. In the interest of breaking up the mammalian monotony, here's another:

 

Wait! Who shot an innocent pigeon like that? Can we find a picture of this bird where it didn't get shot in the chest? No? Huh.

The bird in that picture is an aptly-named Luzon Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba luzonica). It is native only to the Philippenes. In contrast to most bird species with fancy markings, both sexes have the namesake red patch on their chests. They are slightly iridescent on top as well.

 

Unlike city pigeons, Bleeding-hearts prefer to walk on the ground. There they pick up seeds and insects. They look very much like chickens until one realizes that, yes, that bird is in fact a pigeon.  They do not have "chicken-dove" in their generic name for nothing; they occupy roughly the same ecological niche as Galliformes.


(FromNarellerobinson.com)

As one can probably imagine, the Bleeding-heart pigeon is present in the pet trade. A fair amount of them are trapped and either sold as pets or eaten. There are a fair amount of captive birds available, so please be sure to buy yours from a reputable breeder should you so desire one. They require special aviaries (NO wire floors!) and are definitely long-term commitments. Some of these birds have lived almost thirty years!




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