Tag Archives: Hemiphaga

Hemiphaga spadicea (Latham)

Norfolk Island Pigeon (Hemiphaga spadicea)

The Norfolk Island Pigeon is still often regarded to as a subspecies of the New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae (Gmelin)) but clearly constitutes a distinct species.

The species reached a size of 50 cm and differed from the New Zealand Pigeon mainly by the coloration of its wings, which were grey instead of green.

The Norfolk Island Pigeon was apparently last recorded in 1838 and appears to have been gone just by one year later, the reasons for its extinction are overhunting but also predation by introduced mammals, especially cats.


Depiction from: ‘Lionel Walter Rothschild: Extinct birds: an attempt to unite in one volume a short account of those birds which have become extinct in historical times: that is, within the last six or seven hundred years: to which are added a few which still exist, but are on the verge of extinction. London: Hutchinson & Co. 1907’

(public domain)


edited: 29.05.2019