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Common Bronzewing, Phaps chalcoptera

Common BronzewingPhoto copyright Dave Watts

Description

The Common Bronzewing is a medium-sized (to 350mm) pigeon. The male has a cream forehead with brown rear crown and nape and the female has a grey forehead without a brown cap. Both sexes have a clear white line below and around the eye. They also have a greyish pink breast, and patches of red, blue and green on their wings, a feature which is characteristic of all bronzewing pigeons.

Juveniles are duller and browner than the adults.

The Common Bronzewing differs from the similar Brush Bronzewing, P. elegans, by their greyish pink breast, and brown crown and nape.

Habitat

Common Bronzewings are very common and can be found in almost every habitat type, with the exception of  dense rainforests and treeless areas. They are rarely found far from water.

Diet

The Common Bronzewing feeds on seeds and other vegetable matter. The birds feed on the ground in small groups. These small groups need to drink frequently, and visit waterholes during either the day or night.

Breeding

Common Bronzewings breed from July to January but may breed any time of the year if conditions are suitable. During courtship, the male puts on a “bowing” display where he bows his head and chest low, partly fans his tail and shows off his iridescent wing feathers to the female.

A rough nest of twigs and sticks is built. The female lays 2 white eggs per clutch which are incubated by both the male and the female. Both parents share the responsibility of caring for the young.

Common Bronzewings, like other pigeons, secrete a special milk-like substance from their crop, which is fed to the young chicks.

Call

A low, deep “oom” repeated several times in long series as an advertising call.  The alarm call is a growling. (Audio recordings courtesy of David Stewart/Nature Sound)
Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania

Distribution

Found throughout mainland Australia. It is common throughout much of Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands.