Rare Nicobar Pigeon, Relative of the Dodo, Spotted Far from Home in Australian Resort

An unusual visitor has appeared at the Green Island Resort in Queensland, Australia – a rare Nicobar pigeon, dubbed ‘Emerald’ due to its striking green colour. This pigeon, closely related to the extinct Dodo, is typically found in Southeast Asia and is named after the Nicobar Islands near India. However, Emerald has been spotted a staggering 900 miles away from its usual habitat.

This rare bird’s presence intrigues the resort’s staff and guests. Sue O’Donnell, the general manager of Green Island Resort, noted that Emerald has been quite bold, occasionally entering rooms during cleaning. The pigeon’s unexpected visit has sparked interest and amusement, with the resort jokingly suggesting that perhaps the bird is on holiday too.

Image Jam Press

Golo Maurer, who leads BirdLife Australia’s Citizen Science programme, remarked on the rarity of such a sighting, pointing out that Emerald has travelled over 900 miles from the nearest breeding grounds for Nicobar pigeons. He highlighted that the resort’s forested islands and ground foraging opportunities make for an ideal spot for a Nicobar pigeon. The island already hosts a variety of native birds. It is a stopover for migratory shorebirds, with Emerald adding to this diverse birdlife experience.

Image Jam Press

Maurer also speculated that Emerald might have been a pet who found its way to the resort. Despite the unusual circumstances of its arrival, local wildlife authorities have decided not to intervene, opting not to relocate the bird. This decision allows Emerald to continue enjoying its unexpected holiday destination.


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