Nicobar Pigeons (Caloenas nicobarica)

Nicobar pigeons are the closest living relative of the Dodo bird. Endemic to the Nicobar Islands, their numbers are decreasing due to being hunted for food, for the pet trade, and for their gizzard which is used in jewelry.  To the human eye these birds are monomorphic, which means that males and females look alike.  Since birds see ultraviolet, however, the sexes probably look very different to each other.  

Pandemonium Aviaries has a prolific flock of Nicobars.  One of the reasons is that we house the birds as a flock instead of the more normal breeder practice of housing them as pairs.  In the wild, Nicobars tend to stay in flocks which is what we've modeled with good success.  

Nicobars, like a lot of island birds, only lay and hatch one egg at a time.  This means that populations grow slowly and when faced with depletion by hunters have a hard time recovering.  It is hoped that by building up genetically diverse populations of this important species we will have a reservoir from which to draw should the need be to repopulate this species in the wild.