Animals

By Mike Jones 


An adorable pair of pigeons were caught in the moment as they shared a peck on the check.

The pair were captured by professional photographer and expedition leader, Inger Vandyke, 47, cosying up on the branch in Nuku Hiva, on the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia.

PIC BY Inger Vandyke / CATERS NEWS

Inger, from Lancashire, said: “While leading a trip to search for these unique birds, we were lucky enough to find two of them on a branch in a forest on the island.

“As we stood there looking at these huge pigeons, one of them gently started to preen its mate and the cere made it look like they were kissing each other for a long time.

“Instead of preening each other like many birds do, these two were really engaged in this mutual display of affection.”

Conservation measures are now in place to protect the endangered species after numbers declined when they were hunted for food.

PIC BY Inger Vandyke / CATERS NEWS

Inger said: “At one point they numbered only 150 birds and they were classified as Critically Endangered.

“Now conservation measures have been introduced to the island, alongside a hunting ban, and the numbers of these incredible birds is slowly increasing.”