The Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria) is a large, bluish-grey pigeon with elegant blue lace-like crests, maroon breast and red irises. It is part of a genus (Goura) of four unique, very large, ground-dwelling pigeons native to the New Guinea region. The bird may be easily recognized by the unique white tips on its crests and by its deep ‘whooping’ sounds made while calling. Its name commemorates the British monarch Queen Victoria.
The Victoria crowned pigeon is a deep blue-grey colour with a small, black mask. Its feather crest (the signature feature of crowned pigeons other than their size) is conspicuously white-tipped. On the wing coverts is a row of feathers that are a paler blue-gray with maroon tips. These form a distinct wing bar. The chest is a deep purple-maroon color. As in all crowned pigeons, melanism has been observed. The other two crowned pigeons are somewhat superficially similar, but only the western crowned pigeon overlaps in range with the Victoria species. The Scheepmaker’s crowned pigeon does not. In the western species, the crown is more scraggly and hair-like, the chest is a uniform blue-gray and not maroon, and a less distinct wing-bar is present. Both sexes are similar.
This species is typically 73 to 75 cm (29 to 30 in) long. Some specimens may exceed a length of 80 cm (31 in) and a weight of 3.5 kg (7.7 lb). It is marginally larger than the two other crowned pigeons on average, thus is considered the largest surviving species of pigeon of Earth. The standard measurements among pigeons on mainland New Guinea are: the wing chord is 36–39 cm (14–15 in), the tail is 27–30.1 cm (10.6–11.9 in), the bill is 3.2–3.5 cm (1.3–1.4 in) and the unfeathered tarsus is 8.5–9.8 cm (3.3–3.9 in).