Fiji Urban Birds: City Feathers Await

FJ
close up of a dove pigeon turning head

Welcome to Fiji’s urban landscapes, where the lively presence of avian wildlife paints a vibrant picture against the backdrop of bustling city life. From the graceful flight of the Metallic Pigeon to the colorful plumage of the Many Coloured Fruit Dove, these feathered inhabitants add a touch of natural charm to the urban sprawl of Suva, Nadi, and Lautoka. Among them, the majestic Pacific Imperial Pigeon and the elusive Lau Imperial-Pigeon stand as testaments to Fiji’s rich biodiversity. And let’s not forget the swifts, darting through the sky with unmatched agility, adding their own dynamic flair to Fiji’s urban community.

Cose-up-of-a-dove-pigeon..Swift WhiteThroatedPacific-Golden-Plover.
Pigeons and dovesSwiftsPlovers and Lapwings
Pacific Swallow.Tyto longimembris 1Fiji Woodswallow 1
Pacific SwallowOld World SparrowsWoodswallows, Bellmagpies, and Allies
Table: Urban Birds in Fiji

Pigeons and doves


close up of a dove pigeon turning head
Image: Dove, Nature, Wild Pigeon. Image Supplied: Koeln, Sabrina. (2017).

In Fiji’s urban settings, a vibrant tapestry of pigeons and doves, ranging from the familiar Rock Dove to the striking Metallic Pigeon, underscores the critical need for preserving their habitats to safeguard their presence and enhance the ecological balance of these areas.

ROCK DOVEMETALLIC PIGEON
SPOTTED DOVEMANY COLOURED FRUIT DOVE
ORANGE DOVEGOLDEN DOVE
PACIFIC IMPERIAL PIGEONPEALE’S IMPERIAL PIGEON
LAU IMPERIAL-PIGEONVITI LEVU GIANT PIGEON
CRIMSON-CROWNED FRUIT DOVEVELVET DOVE
SHY GROUND DOVE
Table: Pigeons and Doves in Fiji.

Swifts


Swift WhiteThroated
Image: Swift, White Throated. Image Supplied: Unknown.

In the picturesque landscapes of Fiji, a myriad of swifts, including the majestic white-throated needletail and the graceful Australian Swiftlet, epitomize the enchanting allure of the island’s urban birds through their beauty, speed, and aerial prowess.

WHITE-THROATED NEEDLETAILWHITE-RUMPED SWIFTLET
AUSTRALIAN SWIFTLET
Table: Swifts in Fiji.

Plovers and Lapwings


Pacific golden plover
Image: Pacific Golden Plover in Fiji. Image Supplied: Breakless Biker (2023).

The islands of Fiji serve as an important waypoint and occasional refuge for a diverse array of migratory and vagrant shorebirds, including species such as the Black-bellied Plover, Pacific Golden-plover, Masked Lapwing, Lesser Sand-plover, Caspian Plover, and Double-banded Plover. We dip our toe into these amazing migratory avian wonders below. These birds, recognized for their striking plumage and distinctive behaviors, contribute to the rich tapestry of avian life in the region, showcasing adaptations for both Arctic breeding grounds and far-flung Pacific migrations.

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERPACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER
MASKED LAPWINGLESSER SAND-PLOVER
CASPIAN PLOVERDOUBLE-BANDED PLOVER
Table: Plovers and Lapwings in Fiji

Swallows


Pacific Swallow
Image: Pacific Swallow in Fiji. Image Supplied: Stringer, James. (2023).

Swallows – Order: Passeriformes Family: Hirundinidae. The Pacific Swallow, a remarkable member of the Hirundinidae family, is celebrated for its exceptional adaptations to aerial life. This small but agile bird is characterized by its slender physique, elongated pointed wings, and distinctive coloring, making it a masterful hunter of insects in mid-flight.

PACIFIC SWALLOW
Table: Swallows in Fiji

Old World Sparrows


House Sparrow
Image: House-Sparrow. Image Supplied: White, Jess. (2024).

Old World sparrows, characterized by their small size, urban adaptability, and distinctive markings, are commonly found in dense bushes and urban areas across Fiji’s islands, including Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Kadavu, Lomaiviti, Lau, and Rotuma.

HOUSE SPARROW
Table: Old World sparrows in Fiji

Woodswallows, Bellmagpies, and Allies


Fiji Woodswallow
Image: Fiji Woodswallow  Image Supplied: Bird Explorers. (2003).

The avian diversity of Fiji is rich and varied, with species like the robust and agile Fiji Woodswallow (Artamus mentalis) representing a testament to the islands’ unique ecosystems. Found extensively across Fiji’s main islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and the Lomaiviti group, this bird is distinguished by its dark upperparts, white underparts, and notable facial markings, often seen perched on wires. Its adaptability spans from tropical lowland forests and savannahs to urban environments like Suva and Nadi, where it forages primarily on insects such as moths, butterflies, and dragonflies.

FIJI WOODSWALLOWAUSTRALIAN MAGPIE
Table: Woodswallows, Bellmagpies & Allies in Fiji

References

  • Bird Explorers. 2003. “Fiji Woodswallow (Artamus mentalis).” Photograph. iNaturalist. Created November 13, 2003. Accessed June 21, 2024.
  • Breakless Biker. 2023. “Pacific Golden Plover.” Image. April 11. Pixabay. Accessed June 24, 2024. Link
  • Koeln, Sabrina. 2017. “Dove, Nature, Wild Pigeon.” Photograph. October 31. Pixabay. Accessed June 24, 2024. Link
  • Puschner, Monika. 2021. “Sparrow.” Photograph. September 19. Pixabay. Accessed June 22, 2024. Link
  • Swift, White Throated. 2011. Photograph. Available at: Link (Accessed January 5, 2011).
  • White, Jess. 2024. “House Sparrow (Passer domesticus).” Photograph. iNaturalist. Created June 20, 2024. Accessed June 21, 2024.

Additional Sources of Information

  • NatureFiji-MareqetiViti is Fiji’s only domestic NGO working solely for the conservation and sustainable management of Fiji’s unique natural heritage – Link