Glimpses of Perfection: The Golden Fruit Dove, a True Marvel of Avian Beauty

Most of us, quite rightly so, think that doves are either grey or pure white because those are the only ones we have ever seen.

But many doves are far more colorful than that, especially the stunning golden fruit dove.

Native to the islands of Viti Levu, Beqa, Ovalau, Gau, and Waya in Western Fiji, this spectacular species is also known as the yellow dove or lemon dove. The golden fruit dove (Ptilinopus luteovirens), is mainly famous for its long slender feathers around its breast, which can appear like human hair from a distance, according to Australian Geographic.

The male is the most colorful member of this species, covered in remarkable golden plumage which gives off a striking iridescent sheen. Though his head is duller, having a green tinge, it only makes the rest of his body seem to shine that much more. The bare skin around his eyes is bluish-green, as is the skin on his legs.

Female golden doves are easily differentiated from males as they have dark green plumage flecked with some occasional yellow feathers. Juvenile members of this species tend to look like the female.

Photo Courtesy of Rainer Burkard / CC BY-SA 4.0

Rarely seen near ground level, the golden fruit dove naturally inhabited open forest, gallery forest, and secondary growth, but are also found in the mature rainforest with tall trees.

Additionally, these species are occasionally found near populated areas such as towns and villages.

Photo Courtesy of Amnae817 / CC BY-SA 4.0

While the golden fruit dove certainly puts on a colorful show, its cousins—the whistling fruit dove and the orange dove— wow with other colors of the palette. The orange fruit dove, scientifically known as the Ptilinopus victor, has the same elongated, “hair-like” body feathers as the golden fruit dove. In its case, however, these are bright orange and contrast with an olive-colored head.

It resembles its golden cousin in every way but resides in different Fiji islands such as the Vanua, Levu, Taveuni, Rabi, Kioa, Qamea, and Laucala islands.

Photo Courtesy of Aviceda / CC BY-SA 3.0

Meanwhile, the whistling fruit dove (Ptilinopus layardi), or velvet dove, is just as striking. Like its cousins, it has brightly colored upperparts, with a contrasting head, in its case, bright yellow.

The golden and orange doves are listed as species of “Least Concern” by the IUCN, while the velvet dove is listed as “Near Threatened.”

Screenshot via Video/Facebook

Watch and listen to this bird right here below:

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