Torres Strait Pigeons visiting our trees.
Torres Strait Pigeon - Ducula spilorrhoa - looked very festive eating the red fruits in our rainforest canopy today.
AKA: Australian Pied Imperial Pigeon, Nutmeg Imperial Pigeon, Nutmeg Pigeon, White Imperial Pigeon, White Fruit Pigeon, Silver-grey Fruit Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Torresian Imperial Pigeon.
These magnificent birds visit us annually to eat the many fruits in our rainforest. We have an abundance of Nutmeg Trees & many other fruiting trees which they love.
Today I heard them behind the swimming pool and saw many of them in this tree high up in the canopy. They make the most wonderful sounds and fly in large flocks.
They migrate from Papua New Guinea to northern Australia each summer to breed, and rely on a steady supply of fruit from rainforest trees to sustain them.
In the Wet Tropics they breed on islands, some are merely mangroves and coral, and don't have enough fruiting trees to feed the birds that colonise them. The pigeons fly out in large flocks each morning to the mainland, spreading out to feed on fruit and rainforest trees. They then return late afternoon in a continuous stream and each returning bird will bellow its territorial calls.
The number of birds migrating has declined greatly this century. Much of this decline is likely to be due to the widespread clearing of lowland rainforest and the consequential destruction of the bird’s food source. They are a protected species now in Cairns and the numbers are increasing once again as they were culled many years ago as they thought they were a pest. Thank fully we can appreciate these beautiful birds now as long as we keep our rainforest region here.