The age of Imperialism truly wrecked the ecosystems of the world. Of all of these, island ecosystems were the most at risk, as the animals there were often unique and unable to deal with humanity and the creatures that often accompanied them. The island of Choiseul in the Solomon islands is one such example, as it was once home to the spectacular Choiseul Crested Pigeon, a relative of doves that was endemic only to Choiseul. As a result of cats and other predators it was not evolved to cope with, it was declared extinct in the early 1940’s. Here we see Yowies’ attempt to replicate the bird in their toyline. Let’s look closer!
This bird stands in a perched pose, similar to a lot of Yowie’s bird models, though looking resplendent with it’s raised crest. There is a little poseability to the head, legs and tailfeathers, allowing it to bob back and forward a little. It doesn’t affect poses greatly, but it’s nice to have. The colours are, admittedly, quite bright, but I will cover that more in the accuracy portion of this review. It measures 2.2″ high and the same in width, making it a little oversized for many lines, as the bird was only 12″ long in life.
Now to accuracy. Sadly, this bird was rather overlooked and understudied when alive, so a lot of what is known comes from scant records and knowledge of the native population. Starting with the colours mentioned earlier, they are a simplified but reasonably accurate representation, as the colours were a little duller but much as they are here, likely brightened to attract children. As for the rest, it’s pretty spot on, the only flies in the ointment being that the tail feathers should be more rounded than they are and the crest may be a tad large, but otherwise, pretty good.
As with many of the Forgotten friends line, this is the only representation of the Choiseul Pigeon available, but you could certainly do far worse. The model shows this wonderful and overlooked animal in all it’s beauty, and I am pleased to have it in my collection. It is long discontinued, so eBay is your best bet to find this bird, and I highly recommend you do, as it is not only a pleasant model, it is also a grim reminder of what can happen if we are careless with our actions as we interact with the world.
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