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The White-crowned Pigeon

Our tropical pigeon, at home in the hammocks of the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys extend from the state's peninsula like a string of pearls, and pearls they are, in their uniqueness and value. Stands of hardwood trees rise above the islands' level ground. These trees draw many birds of the Caribbean to the keys' tropical habitat. One of these is the White-crowned Pigeon. It's a fruit-eater that eats native figs and the fruit of the poisonwood tree. White-crowns play an important role in spreading seeds. The birds swallow fruits and deposit some of the seeds on the hardwood knolls also called hammocks. Without the pigeons, there might be no tropical hardwood hammocks in the Keys. But without the hammocks, there would be no White-crowned Pigeons in Florida.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

White-crowned Pigeon -
Our Tropical Pigeon

Written by Dennis Paulson

This is BirdNote.
[Mangrove Cuckoo calls]
The Florida Keys extend from the state’s peninsula like a string of pearls, and pearls they are, in their uniqueness and value. Stands of hardwood trees originating in the West Indies rise above the islands’ level ground. These trees draw many birds of the Caribbean to the Keys’ tropical habitat.
[Mangrove Cuckoo calls]
Listening on Key West to Mangrove Cuckoos and Gray Kingbirds, [calls of Gray Kingbird] you might imagine yourself in Cuba or the Bahamas.
And you might see another Caribbean bird, the White-crowned Pigeon.
[White-crowned Pigeon]
The adult has a brilliant white crown and white iris. It sounds a lot like a Mourning Dove. It’s a fruit-eater that includes native figs and the fruit of the poisonwood tree in its diet. Like pigeons the world over, White-crowns play an important role in spreading seeds. The birds swallow fruits and deposit some of the seeds on the hardwood knolls also called hammocks.   
Without the pigeons, there might be no tropical hardwood hammocks in the Keys. But without the hammocks, there would be no White-crowned Pigeons in Florida.
[White-crowned Pigeon]
If you’re curious about the unique habitats of the Florida Keys and what can be done to protect them, check out the link on our website, birdnote.org. I’m Michael Stein. [White-crowned Pigeon]
###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Mangrove Cuckoo calls 105343 and call of Gray Kingbird 73900 recorded by G.A. Keller and White-crowned pigeon [23210] recorded by R. Waide.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org     May 2012   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# hammock-WCPI-01-2012-05-06  hammock-WCPI-01      

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