A Happy Hatching!

The largest Pigeon species has hatched at the Virginia Zoo!

The Virginia Zoo welcomes a female Victoria Crowned pigeon chick, which was hatched early December. This is the first successful hatching of a Victoria Crowned at the Zoo, and for the parents, who have been at the Zoo since 2013.

Victoria Crowned pigeons are known for their deep blue-grey color with a prominent crest that is white-tipped. The species is the world’s largest living pigeons, which can grow up to 30 inches and weigh close to 5 pounds. It is also the closest humans will ever come to the Dodo bird, which went extinct in the late 1600s.

Victoria Crowned pigeons are found in New Guinea and the surrounding islands. At the Zoo, they are currently off exhibit for the winter months, but can be seen in the Asia Aviaries during the summer months. Once hunted to provide furry feathers for women’s hats, current estimates there are only 10,000 to 20,000 Victoria Crowned pigeons left in the wild.