Nicobar_Pigeon_820

OK, here is the closest living relative of the Dodo—the Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica).  This splendidly fashionable tropical pigeon lives on the Nicobar and Andoman Islands and along the coast of Myanmar Thailand Malaysia, Solomon Islands, Palau and on other forested Indo Pacific islands between Sumatra and the Philippines.  The bird makes full use of its wings, spending days browsing seeds, fruit, and grains of tropical forests and farms and then flying out to uninhabited offshore islets where there are no predators.   They also tend to build their nests on these same heavily forested offshore islets.

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Wikipedia describes the pigeon’s appearance succinctly: “It is a large pigeon, measuring 40 cm (16 in) in length. The head is grey, like the upper neck plumage, which turns into green and copper hackles. The tail is very short and pure white. The rest of its plumage is metallic green. The cere of the dark bill forms a small blackish knob; the strong legs and feet are dull red. The irides are dark.”  This rote description however does not do justice to the pigeon’s magnificent long grey neck feathers which jut out prettily over iridescent orange green body feathers.  The bird somehow contrives to look like an exotic tropical fowl and like a plain old pigeon all at once.