Topknot Pigeon

he Topknot Pigeon (Lopholaimus antarcticus) is a species of bird native to Australia. It is often spotted over rainforests and valleys, but can also be found around palm trees, figs, eucalyptus forests and other woodlands. They are completely arboreal. They mostly occur from Cape York in Queensland to the South Coast of New South Wales near the coast but have been seen as south as Tasmania and the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, depending on food availability. Though this species is normally found in groups of hundreds of birds, numbers are declining because of rainforest clearing. This is a protected species in Australia.

The Topknot Pigeon is 16 to 18.4 inches in length. It has a pale gray breast, dark gray wings and a dull black tail with one gray band. It has a wide and flattened, sweptback crest of feathers that goes from the beak to the nape of the neck. The crest feathers are gray at the front and brownish-red at the back. The beak is red-brown. The young are paler than adults and have a brown bill. The tail band is less defined in the young as well.

This bird feeds mainly on fruits found in the canopy. It often rests in the trees above the canopy. Water is taken from raindrops that accumulate on the leaves and the trees. They are sometimes seen in open country seeking food. Usually they are more heard than seen. These birds produce a soft, grumbling and grunting noise. They also make short screech noises when two or more birds skirmish with each other.

Breeding occurs from July to January. The nest is usually built in the rainforest trees high above the ground. The nest consists of long and loose twigs. The female lays one large, slightly glossy egg.