Marquesas/Nuku Hiva: Nuku Hiva Pigeon

Nuku Hiva Pigeon aka Upa aka Marquesan Imperial Pigeon is one of the rarest birds in the world. It only lives on the island of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Archipelago, and only in 3 or 4 isolated valleys. This is one of the largest pigeons in the world weighting up to 1kg/2lb. The pigeon’s distinct feature is a “double” bill, the upper portions is actually a swollen cere. The birds were reduced to nearly 40 individuals in 2000, but have now recovered to around 150. I saw 5 separate birds in one day, which is about 3.3% of the global population!