Definitions

dove plant

Wompoo Fruit-dove

The Wompoo Fruit-dove, Ptilinopus magnificus (also known as Magnificent Fruit-dove or Purple-breasted Fruit-dove), is the largest of fruit-doves native to New Guinea and Australia.

Distribution and habitat

In Australia, it inhabits almost exclusively the lowland tropical rainforests along the eastern coast, from central New South Wales to the tip of Cape York Peninsula. Abundancy of the birds increase in a northerly direction.

Description

The dove measure up to 45 centimetres (18 inches), but are generally far smaller in northern regions. It has purple plumage around its neck, chest and upper belly. Its lower belly is yellow and has a green underparts. The sexes look similar and the juveniles have a duller and greener plumage compared to adults. Notwithstanding their bright plumage, they are hard to see amongst the forest canopy, not the least thanks to their unobtrusive, quiet habits (Frith et al. 1976). Their call sounds like ‘wollack-wa-hoo’ and often sounds very human.

Behaviour

Food

The Wompoo Fruit-dove can be seen in large flocks where food is abundant. The birds feed off fruit-bearing trees in rainforests such as figs. They can eat large fruits whole and are able to acrobatically collect fruit of trees and vines. They do not like to travel long distances, preferring to stay in their local area and make use of whatever fruit are in season. The diet of this species was extensively studied in the Port Moresby area by Frith et al. (1976). Despite their small size, they are able to swallow fruits of 5 cm³ volume, which would translate into a diameter of about 2 cm in spherical fruit. Major food items included:

Food items of minor importance were fruit of:

Breeding

Breeding times will vary according to weather conditions. The nest is sturdily constructed from forked twigs not high from the ground. Both genders help in the construction of the nest. One white egg is laid and the parents share the incubation and care of the chick. In the event, that the chick dies, the doves will attempt to have a second offspring in the same season.

Conservation

Widespread and common throughout its large range, the Wompoo Fruit-dove is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


References

  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Frith, H.J.; Rome, F.H.J.C. & Wolfe, T.O. (1976): Food of fruit-pigeons in New Guinea. Emu 76(2): 49-58. HTML abstract

External links

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