A trip to see the new tropical house at Marwell Zoo yielded a wonderful surprise – a Nicobar Pigeon, Caloenas nicobarica, lurking in the undergrowth.
Nicobar Pigeons, named after the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India, are the closest living relative of the Dodo.
Although they look very different to their extinct relative, Nicobar Pigeons share some similarities in adaptations to their habitat. A lack of predators and isolation on small islands has led to Nicobar Pigeons adopting a mainly ground-dwelling existence. Sadly, the increase in non-native predators and the hunting of the birds means that their numbers in the wild may be on the decline.