The Torres Strait Pigeon

Also known as the Torresian Imperial Pigeon or the Wabul in the local Kuku Yalanji (kuku, pronounced gugu, means language). In our part of the country, these birds spend from around August through to February down here breeding, then head up to New Guinea for a few months rest, and then come back to party again. In the early days of white people populating the Northern  parts of Queensland, hundreds of thousands of these pigeons were documented, describing flocks 2 kilometres wide. Unfortunately, we managed to nearly wipe them out, considering them pests, or easy sport shooting targets. Nowadays, the population has recovered to around thirty thousand, with local populations fairly common at this time of year. The Wabul is a shy pigeon (must have been bred into them methinks), that will take flight at sight of a human on the ground. We have a flock of about a dozen that hang around in the rainforest here. I managed to grab a couple of shots one morning last week. This is about the closest I could get:

Wabul, the Torres Strait Pigeon.

Wabul, the Torres Strait Pigeon.

There are better images available on Wikipedia and a Google image search.


2 thoughts on “The Torres Strait Pigeon

  1. Pingback: March Onwards | Brad's Blog

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