Crested Pigeon Wing Display - Bronzewings too

To: Carl Clifford <>,
Subject: Crested Pigeon Wing Display - Bronzewings too
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2010 10:44:51 +1000
I have often seen Common Bronzewings (and once a Brush Bronzewing)
lying on their sides with underwing and side exposed - usually aviary birds at Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary. I've occasionally seen it in the wild.
  The Bronzewings lay still for some minutes, without wing-flicking.
It was usually in a spot where a patch of sunlight struck the ground and I decided that the bird was sun-bathing - after a while it changed sides. The birds did not look as completely daft as sunbathing Starlings and Blackbirds can, but remained wary. I have also seen this attitude taken when rain was starting - in this case the bird was out in a fairly open position, and I believe it was rain-bathing. Galahs expose the underwing to rain at times too, sometimes when perched.

Anthea Fleming

On 19/09/2010 2:34 PM, Carl Clifford wrote:
Hi Stephen,

I recently saw a similar sized group of CPs with 2 members of the group
doing similar lying on-side, briefly flicking up a wing while the rest
of the group went about its business. It was sprinkling rain at the time
and I thought the birds were just engaging in some kind of bathing
activity. Your having seen CPs doing the same when it was dry, now makes
me think perhaps otherwise. Interesting behaviour, will have to keep an
eye open for CPs doing similar and have a closer look. Hopefully I will
have my DSLR with me and will be able to take a movie of it and study
what they are doing more closely.


Carl Clifford

On 19/09/2010, at 1:59 PM, Stephen Ambrose wrote:

Yesterday I saw a small flock of Crested Pigeons (about 6 birds from
in an open grassed area. One pigeon was lying on its side on the ground,
flicking one wing upwards, so that the undersurface of the wing was exposed
for about seconds with each flick. The other Crested Pigeons did not
seem to
react, continuing to forage around the displaying bird. I thought at first
that the bird lying on its side was dead or injured and that the wind was
catching the wing and blowing it upward. But as I approached the flock on
foot all the birds, including the "wing flicker" flew to a nearby tree.

So I then thought I had observed some form of courtship display, but there
is no mention of this behavior in HANZAB. Has anyone else observed this
behavior in Crested Pigeons? I'm also interested to hear other peoples'
views on the purpose of the display.


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