The White-crowned Pigeon (Patagioenas leucocephala, formerly Columba leucocephala; see Johnson et al., 2001) is a member of the family Columbidae (doves and pigeons).
It is a resident breeder mainly in the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and Antigua. It breeds in smaller numbers in Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla and other Caribbean islands. It also breeds along the Caribbean coast of Central America. In the United States it is found only in the Florida Keys and the southern tip of mainland Florida.
It is 29 cm long, has a wingspan of 48 cm and weighs 150 g. The adult is dark grey, with green and white bars on the nape, a brilliant white crown to the head, a white iris, and a pale-tipped red bill. Juveniles are a less dark shade of grey, lack the nape pattern and white iris, and show only a few pale feathers on the crown. The song is row of a Mourning Dove-like woo pop woooo calls; this species is a member of a diverse clade of Patagioenas which vary much in appearance, but are united by their triple coos (except in the Scaled Pigeon) (Johnson et al. 2001, Mahler & Tubaro 2001).
The main threat to this species is hunting. In Florida a major cause of mortality is collision with man-made objects. Another main threat to this species is loss of habitat. The White-crowned Pigeon needs two distinct habitats, one for nesting and one for feeding. They typically breed in costa red mangrove trees, which continue to be clear-cut for crops such as sugar cane. Agriculture and deforestation have become a problem for the specie's feeding grounds, typically inland hardwood forests. The bird is very skittish, and is known to simply abandon it's nest when it is encroached upon. John James Audubon did a famous painting of the White-crowned Pigeon.
Print of John James Audubon painting of the White-crowned pigeon