As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The dodo’s gorgeous island-hopping relative finds its way to our shores

The Australian
12:00AM May 5, 2017

Victoria Laurie

A gorgeously plumed pigeon ­described as the closest living descenda­nt of the now extinct dodo has been found by Aborig­inal rangers in the Kimberley.

The Nicobar pigeon has never before been found on the Australian mainland, but was spotted by Bardi Jawi rangers walking across a road near monsoon vine thickets at Chile Creek on the Dampier Peninsula last month.

Since then there have been numerous sightings and earlier this week a juvenile bird was capture­d 40km away by children in the front yard of a house at One Arm Point, near Broome.

“It was definitely a strange bird to all of us,” says Bardi Jawi ranger co-ordinator Phillip McCarthy, who says his rangers handed over the captured Nicobar pigeon to quarantine officers as part of their biosecurity role in protecting the Kimberley coast.

“I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never seen one. We don’t know how the bird got here — whether it flew all the way, if it island­-hopped or came by boat.”

With rainbow-hued adult plum­age and a knob on its nose, the iridescent bird is named after the Nicobar Islands, one of the most isolated island chains in the world, in the Bay of Bengal.

But pigeon flocks have a tendency to hop islands in search of food, so the species range extends down to the Malay Archipelago, The Philippines, New Guinea, Indones­ia and Solomon Islands.

The closest it has been recorded to Australia previously was in 1989, when a single bird landed on an oil rig in the Timor Sea.


No comments:

Post a Comment