Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Near Threatened

Sclater's Crowned-pigeon (Goura sclaterii)


French: Goura de Sclater German: Sclaterkrontaube Spanish: Gura de Sclater

Goura sclaterii


, 1876,

Fly River, New Guinea


Present species and G. scheepmakeri probably more closely related to G. cristata than to G. victoria. Formerly considered conspecific with G. scheepmakeri, but here split on account of its redistributed maroon-brown, covering upper neck vs lower neck but not lower belly (2); carpal area maroon-brown, extending onto the outer greater coverts (thus enclosing the white wing-panel in maroon-brown, whereas the outer greater coverts are grey in scheepmakeri) (3); dorsal plumage scaled pale grey (ns[1]); mid-belly to vent grey vs maroon-brown (2); white wing-panel slightly tinged yellow (ns[1]); slightly shorter wing (sample size too small; ns). Name wadai is a junior synonym of sclaterii. Monotypic.


S New Guinea from Mimika R E to Fly R and Strickland R (perhaps even Hegigo R); however, identity of Goura populations between Fly R and Purari R unknown, either this species or G. scheepmakeri, although there is an old specimen of the latter species labelled as being from the Fly R.

Descriptive notes

66–73 cm; 2000–2235 g. Huge, terrestrial pigeon with fan-like, unpatterned pale grey crest and rich maroon underparts from throat to lower breast. Forehead, crown and nape... read more


A deep, hollow drumming at a heartbeat rhythm “boom-boom, boom-boom...”, reminiscent of a cassowary. read more


Inhabits undisturbed dry and flooded forest, often alluvial, in lowlands to 500 m, where it feeds... read more

Food and feeding

Few specific data. Presumably mainly consumes seeds and fallen fruit, as does G. scheepmakeri; also feeds along muddy riverbanks,... read more


Nest is a solid, compact mass of sticks, stems, palm fronds, tendrils or coarse dead herbaceous leaves; placed 3·5–15 m above the ground;... read more


Resident and sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Population unknown, but estimated at 10,000–15,000 mature individuals within large overall range... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Sclater's Crowned-pigeon (Goura sclaterii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 January 2020).