I took these photos of a Bleeding Heart Pigeon in a walk through aviary in Taronga Zoo, Sydney. This bird is quite an arresting species with its bright red colour on the front looking very much like it has been wounded in some way. They are a species kept commonly in aviaries here in Australia and many zoos have a small collection of them as well.
Bleeding Heart Pigeons are from the Philippine Islands and are a member of the dove and pigeon family of birds. Pigeons and doves drink in a unique way in the bird kingdom. Most birds fill their beaks and tilt their head bad allowing water to dribble down the throat. Pigeons and doves on the other hand are able to suck water up through their beaks.
Bleeding Heart Pigeons eat fruit, berries, seeds and insects. It is a bird of the lower levels of the forests.
- Bleeding Heart Pigeons – information from the Honolulu Zoo website.
The Nicobar Pigeon is named after the Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean SE of India. Although they are named after these islands, their distribution is much broader, stretching to the east through the Malay Peninsula and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
I’ve never visited or been birding in this part of the world so I’ve not seen the Nicobar Pigeon in its natural environment. The iridescent colours of its plumage makes this a stunning bird. The birds shown in this photo was seen in a walk through aviary at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
I find that zoos and wildlife parks are excellent places to hone one’s photography skills, especially those with walk through aviaries. On a few occasions, however, one can get the conditions just right and a good shot can be obtained even when shooting through the wire surrounding the aviary.
The above shot of Topknot Pigeon was taken through the wire of an aviary at Taronga Park Zoo. You can see the wire behind the bird, but the wire in front seems to have completely disappeared.
Topknot Pigeons are present along coastal eastern Australia, from Cape York peninsula down through to south eastern NSW. it can also sometimes occur in far eastern Victoria, near Mallacoota.
I have only ever seen this species once in the wild, nearly 30 years ago in Gibraltar Range National Park between Grafton and Glen Innes in north eastern NSW.
I enjoy visiting the Adelaide Zoo on a regular basis. Not only does the zoo have a good selection of animals and reptiles, all kept in animal friendly and appropriate enclosures, but it also boasts an excellent collection of birds. Birding is one of my passions and you can read more about our birds on my blog called Trevor’s Birding.
On this post I feature only 4 of the species represented at the zoo; there are many more in the numerous aviaries. Some of the aviaries are walk-through, giving excellent close-up views of the birds.
The Australian Pelican shown above is a common water bird seen throughout Australia where there is suitable habitat. It is one of our most easily recognised birds and has featured in many books, documentaries and even feature films (Storm Boy).
Shown above, Australian Bustards (or wild turkey) are turkey sized birds of the inland regions of our country. Before land clearing for farming this species was far more widespread.
Below is a photo of the beautiful Princess Parrot, another bird of the arid inland regions. It is commonly kept in aviaries but is not often seen in its natural environment due to the remoteness of its preferred habitat. Another bird of the interior regions is the Flock Bronze-wing Pigeon, shown in the last photo.