Rare bird captured in the Kimberley

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Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser

Rangers have been left baffled after a rare bird native to South East Asia and the South Pacific was captured in the Kimberley earlier this week.

The Nicobar pigeon, normally found on small islands and in coastal regions, is near endangered and the closest living relative to the extinct dodo.

The Bardi Jawi ranger group first spotted the colourful pigeon last month on the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome, before capturing it at One Arm Point this week.

The large pigeon, measuring 40cm in length, has a grey head which turns into green and copper hackles. It has a very short, white tail, with the rest of the plumage metallic green, and strong, dull red legs.

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Bardi Jawi senior ranger Kevin George said they are unsure how the bird managed to get there.

“We immediately knew it wasn’t a native species, but we had no idea how far it had actually come from to get here,” he said.

“Following some of our own research, we’ve been able to identify the species.

“We don’t know how the bird got here—whether it flew all the way from Indonesia, India or the Solomons, if it island hopped or came by boat.”

The capture was reported to quarantine services and the bird was removed by Department of Agriculture officials.

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