Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus magnificus Click to enlarge image
Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus magnificus Image: Carolyn Stewart
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Fast Facts

  • NSW Conservation Status
    Vulnerable species
  • Classification
    Species
    magnificus
    Genus
    Ptilinopus
    Family
    Columbidae
    Order
    Columbiformes
    Class
    Aves
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    35 cm to 45 cm

The Wompoo Fruit-Dove is identified by its large size, rich purple throat, chest and upper belly, and yellow lower belly. The tail is much longer than the other smaller fruit-doves. It is the largest fruit-dove species in Australia. It can be found along the east coast of Australia and the northern Cape York Peninsula. This species can also occurs in New Guinea.

Identification

The Wompoo Fruit-Dove is identified by its large size, rich purple throat, chest and upper belly, and yellow lower belly. Mostly bright green upperparts, with a paler grey head and a conspicuous yellow wing-bar. Its bill is orange-red with a yellow tip. It is perhaps the most beautiful of all the doves found in Australia, and both sexes are similar in plumage. Birds from the north are smaller than those in the south. Young birds are duller and greener than the adults.

Distribution

Australia has three discrete Wompoo Fruit-Dove populations along the east coast: from central eastern New South Wales to central eastern Queensland; north-eastern Queensland; and northern Cape York Peninsula. This species also occurs in New Guinea. The Wompoo Fruit-Dove is more common and abundant in the northern parts of its range.



Habitat

The most favoured habitat of the Wompoo Fruit-Dove 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.

Feeding and diet

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 or the sound of falling fruit. 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.

Communication

The call is a deep resonant "wollack-a-woo" and, occasionally, a more abrupt "boo".

Breeding Behaviour/s

In the north of the Wompoo Fruit-Dove's range the breeding 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 small tree or bush. A white egg is laid, and both sexes share the incubation - the male incubates during the day, and the female incubates during the night. Both parents also care for the chick. Only one chick is raised in a season, but birds may breed a second time if the first attempt fails.

Breeding Season: August to January (in Australia)

Economic/social impacts

Clearing of rainforest habitat has caused declines in numbers in the southern populations of the species. It was once found in the Illawarra region of New South Wales but is now no longer found there. The Wompoo Fruit-dove is currently listed as a Vulnerable species in New South Wales.


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