Wompoo Fruit-Dove

Wompoo Fruit-Dove in a rainforest near Kuranda
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Scientific Name: Ptilinopus magnificus

Size: Total Length 35 to 45 cm (in north of range); up to 50 cm (in south).

What does it look and sound like?

The Wompoo Fruit-dove is identified by its large size, rich purple throat, chest and upper belly, and yellow lower belly. It has mostly green underparts, with a paler grey head and a conspicuous yellow wing-bar. It is perhaps the most beautiful of all the doves found in Australia, and both sexes are similar in plumage. The call is a deep resonant “wollack-a-woo” and, occasionally, a more abrupt “boo”. Young Wompoos are duller and greener than the adults.

Two other similarly coloured pigeons are the Rose-Crowned Fruit-Dove, P. regina, and the Superb Fruit-Dove, P. superbus. While both of these species are mostly green, with bright colouring around the head and neck, they are both quite a lot smaller, measuring around 20 to 24 cm.

Where is it found?

The Wompoo Fruit-Dove is found along the east coast of Australia, from Cape York, Qld, to just south of Dorrigo, NSW. It is more common and abundant in northern parts of its range.

What are its habitats & habits?

The most favoured habitat type is rainforest, and birds are rarely seen in other areas. The birds do not travel large distances, but move around in small, localised areas in search of fruit-bearing trees.

Wompoo Fruit-Doves feed on a variety of rainforest fruits. The fruits are eaten whole and may be quite large in size. The birds are hard to see when feeding, and are best located by their calls. They may form large feeding flocks where food is plentiful, and the birds acrobatically pluck the fruit from trees and vines high up in the canopy area.

The breeding season of the Wompoo Fruit-Dove is from July to January each year. In the north of its range, the season may vary in response to suitable weather conditions. Both sexes share the construction of the twig nest, which may be placed quite low down in a tree. Only 1 egg is laid, and both sexes share the incubation and care of the chick. Only 1 chick is raised in a season, but birds may breed a second time if the first attempt fails.

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This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

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