Everyone expects that seeing over 20 species of birds-of-paradise will be the incomparable highlight of a birding tour to Papua New Guinea. However, without taking anything away from these unbelievably exotic birds, many visitors leave New Guinea with unforgettable experiences of three other families parrots, kingfishers and columbids.
Over 50 doves & pigeons occur in Papua New Guinea and Rockjumper’s tours to this magical, wild island regularly score over 30 species! And we’re not talking about dull grey pigeons here; evocative names like Superb and Beautiful Fruit Dove, Red-knobbed and Shining Imperial Pigeon, Nicobar and Pheasant Pigeon and New Guinea Bronzewing certainly conjure up stunning images to any birder’s imagination. However, it’s the colossal Southern Crowned Pigeon that always makes it into the top ratings of a New Guinea tour. Endemic to New Guinea, the three species of crowned pigeon are the largest extant columbids, only eclipsed by the extinct Dodo and Solitaires of the Western Indian Ocean islands. These unexpectedly beautiful birds are encountered in the forests fringing the slow-moving Elevala River at the base of the Star Mountains in far western PNG, and this image was taken at this location during one of Rockjumper’s recently completed tours by David Shackelford, one of our veteran PNG guides. Besides its huge size, this bird’s elegant filigree crest, maroon breast and amazingly loud wing-beats make for a memorable birding experience.
Rockjumper Birding Tours arranges and guides more birding tours to Papua New Guinea than any other company and we invite you to join us on what is often referred to as “the ultimate birding tour in the world!” Our next series of scheduled departures run through July and August 2010, please contact our office for more details.