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Dove or a Pigeon?
by James Archer
(Redlands Queensland Australia)
Common Bronzewing (Australian Pigeon)
Q: What kind of dove or pigeon is this?
A: Although I cannot see all the fieldmarks from the photo, it appears to be a Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) of the pigeon family, Columbidae. It is a large (33-36cm) native pigeon of Australia that is very common. The white line under the eye is a key characteristic. Mature birds will have iridescent patches of red, blue and green on their wing which are structural colors that change in appearance with sunlight. Males are a little more colorful than females with a yellow-white forehead and pink breast. They build an untidy, flimsy nest of twigs, like in your photo, where the female lays two eggs and incubates them for approximately 16 days.