Hi. I must confess I'm not especially a bird enthusiast - althugh I have two damaged pigeons roosting in my living room and ocasionally crashlanding on the table in the middle of breakfast - but I joined this forum for a very odd reason.
I'm trying to identify not a real bird but a sculpture of a bird. It's carved out of bone or maybe walrus ivory, so there's no colour to go on - just the body shape, and I don't know how accurate the carver was. It was probably but not definitely carved by a Victorian Scottish sailor.
I at first thought that it was intended as an ordinary male European pigeon in courtship mode, with his forehead and chest puffed out, or possibly a ptarmigan in summer plumage. However, there are two strange processes above the beak which don't belong on any ordinary pigeon that I know of.
The bird is chunky, resembling a fat pigeon or a partridge in overall build. It has a medium-length tail which is shown slighty fanned. The wings, which are folded over the tail, are rather short, extending only halfway along the tail. The legs have heavily-feathered thighs but the lower-leg appears to be bare. One leg is missing and the other has lost its toes, so I cannot tell whether it originally had webbed or separate toes.
The forehead has the prominent, domed appearance one sees in courting pigeons. The beak appears to be short and similar to a pigeon's beak but in fact the end of it is missiing, so it could originally have been longer, and/or hooked at the tip - it's impossible to tell.
Just above the base of the beak are two little prongs, which could be the tubular nostrils seen in some seabirds, or could be feather-tufts or wattles.
Has anybody got any idea what bird this could be?