Sunday, September 30, 2007

Caribbean speciality

It occured to me recently that a lot of the birds I've posted would be familiar to a lot of north american readers who encounter them at the other end of their ranges or migrations and that, as a result, people may be interested in seeing some Caribbean endemics which they are less likely to have encountered. So here goes with the first of these; the scaly-naped pigeon.

purple naped 1

This pretty, plump pigeon is in the genus Columba just like the feral pigeons we all see but it really reminds me of a jazzed up English woodpigeon. The behaviour, jizz and call are all pretty similar and it sits with the same plump indifference on exposed spots where not hunted.

purple naped 2

I'm embarrassed to confess I had never, until I decided to take pictures of it, got round to putting high-powered optics on these common birds and when I did I was pleasantly surprised by some of the details. I particularly like the contrast between the red eye and yellow surround and the two-tone bill. You can almost make out the neck detail that gives it its name from these shots too although this fellow was unwilling to turn round and give me a look.

purple naped 3

Scaly-naped pigeons have recovered well from hunting pressure and are now common here, our other Columba, the white-capped pigeon has not and is still on my "to see" list.

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