Hemiphaga spadicea   (Latham)

Norfolk Island Pigeon
(Hemiphaga spadicea)

syn. Columba gigas (Ranzani), Columba leucogaster (Wagler), Columba princeps (Vigors), Columba spadicea (Latham), Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae spadicea (Latham)


Australia: Norfolk Island / Norfolk Islands

local name: -

size: ca. 53 cm (length)

extinction date: ca. 1840

The New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) lives in New Zealand. It is a very large, quite colourful bird.

In the past the populations of this magnificent bird were reduced by hunting in such an extend that some worried about its possible extinction. Today this bird is protected and it is not allowed to hunt for it. The New Zealand Pigeon is now one of the few birds of New Zealand, which were able to adapt to the environmental changes caused by humans.


The Pigeon from Norfolk Island, which is sometimes regarded as a subspecies of the New Zealand Pigeon, however could not survive the ongoing hunting and disappeared sometimes around the year 1840.


Norfolk Island Pigeon (Hemiphaga spadicea)

Depiction from 'Album of watercolour drawings of Australian natural history, owned by Robert Anderson Seton, ca. 1800'

by courtesy of Jennifer Broomhead / State Library of New South Wales



- Dieter Luther: Die ausgestorbenen Vögel der Welt. Westarp Wissenschaften 1986
- Trevor H. Worthy, Richard N. Holdaway: The Lost World of the Moa, Prehistoric Life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press, Bloomington 2002