Habitat: Tropical and subtropical rainforest

Distribution: Central eastern New South Wales to central eastern Queensland; north-eastern Queensland; and northern Cape York Peninsula

Conservation status: Listed as Vulnerable in NSW

Main threats: Habitat degradation from wildfire and the loss of large rainforest fig trees, especially on private land


The wompoo fruit-dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) is a remarkable bird found only in Australia. It displays a vivid array of colours with its predominantly green back, deep purple chest, and striking yellow belly and underwings. Although their vibrant hues make them stand out, these birds can be hard to spot as they search for fruit high up in the leafy rainforest canopy, both in tropical and subtropical regions. Often, the only hints of their presence are the sounds of fruit dropping to the ground and their unique 'wompoo' call, which is also the origin of their name.

This species might be considered the most beautiful of all the doves found in Australia, with males and females sharing the same feather patterns.

This dove can measure up to 45cm, but is generally far smaller in northern regions. The juveniles have a more subdued and greener plumage than mature birds.

Fun fact: Unlike many pigeon species, the digestive system of the wompoo fruit-dove lacks a hard-walled gizzard, so they can’t grind up and digest the hard seeds of the rainforest fruits they eat.


The wompoo fruit-dove feeds on a variety of fruits found in the rainforest, consuming them entirely, even those of considerable size. 

This is excellent news for rainforest vines and trees, as their seeds can be transported over vast distances and dispersed throughout the environment, all thanks to the droppings of this dove. In areas abundant with food, they can gather in substantial numbers, skilfully snatching fruits from trees and vines high up in the canopy area.

In the northern part of its habitat, the wompoo fruit-dove's mating period can shift depending on suitable weather conditions, but is typically around August to January. 

The construction of the twig nest is a joint effort between the male and female, and is often situated lower in a shrub or small tree. They take turns incubating the solitary white egg, with the male often taking the day shift and the female taking over at night.

Care of the hatchling is a shared responsibility as well. Typically, only one chick is nurtured per season, although a second breeding attempt might occur if the initial one is unsuccessful.

Having a connected rainforest is crucial to the long-term survival of this species. You can help protect wompoo fruit-dove habitat. Find out how.


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