Tag Archives: Ptilinopus purpuratus

Birds of Polynesia – lesser-known depictions: William Bligh

These four watercolor paintings date from 1792 and were made by the infamous Captain William Bligh himself, the captain of the HMS Providence, who had come to Tahiti on a mission to transport breadfruit trees and other botanical material from the Pacific to the West Indies.

These pictures were made on the island of Tahiti; three of the depicted species are now no longer found on that island and the Black-fronted Parakeet is even extinct completely.


The Erropai or large Pidgeon of Otaheite / Polynesian Imperial Pigeon (Ducula aurora)
Oo-oopah or Otaheite Doves / Grey-green Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus purpuratus)
The green Paraques of Otaheite, called from the noise they make Ah Ah or Ahah / Black-fronted Parakeet (Cyanoramphus zealandicus)
The small blue Paroquet of Otaheite called Aiwinnee / Blue Lorikeet (Vini peruvianus)

Depictions from: ‘Watercolours of William Bligh, Commander in Her Majesty’s Navy (1791-93)’

(public domain)


edited: 20.10.2021