Crowned pigeons. This subfamily includes 3 species of the largest representatives of the order of pigeons. They are about the size of a turkey, legs with very high metatarsals, but with short toes, the metatarsus are covered with large shields. The wings are long, obtuse, the flight wings are from the fourth to the seventh longer than the rest. The plumage consists of large feathers with long beards. On the head is a crest in the form of a fan of loose feathers. The tail is long, wide and slightly rounded.
Crowned pigeons inhabit New Guinea and the surrounding islands. Pigeons live in virgin forests, keep in pairs or small groups. Most of the time they run and at this time they very much resemble pheasants. The food consists of plant seeds, fallen fruits, young foliage, insects, and other invertebrates.
During the mating period, sounds reminiscent of the beat of a drum are often heard - this is the male crowned pigeon. The nest is made from ferns in trees, at a height of 6 to 10 m, most often it is placed on a thick branch near the trunk in the form of a heap. In clutch there is 1 egg. Incubation lasts 28 days, and chicks become independent at the age of about two months. Sexual maturity occurs at the age of two years.
In captivity, crowned pigeons are not kept very often, they are of little use for domestic zoo corners. These require large enclosures located in warm rooms. When keeping these pigeons, special attention should be paid to correct and varied feeding. The food for crowned pigeons should consist of a grain mixture (rye, rice, millet, sunflower, peas, corn, soybeans, groundnuts) with the addition of animal food: snails, mealworms, shrimp or dried insects. In addition, the diet should include a hard-boiled and chopped chicken egg, white bread soaked in milk, non-sour cottage cheese, pieces of boiled meat, grated carrots mixed with white breadcrumbs powder, and fresh herbs. With proper maintenance, crowned pigeons can live in captivity for up to 15 years and be bred. A flat basket or wire frames with a diameter of about 60 cm can serve as the basis for the nest, which should be placed in the aviary as high as possible. As a nesting material, you can put fern leaves, long pieces of birch bark, willow twigs, straw, dry stems of grass. In captivity, blue-crested pigeons (Goura cristata), chestnut-breasted (Goura scheepmakeri) and fan-shaped (Goura victoria) pigeons are kept.
Pigeons and the prevention of their diseases. A.I.Rakhmakhov, B.F.Bessarabov (Moscow, Rosselkhozizdat, 1987)