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11

Common Bronzewing

(Phaps chalcoptera)
Alternate name(s): "Forest Bronzewing", "Bronze-wing Pigeon"
Aboriginal name(s): "tappak", "dhamarr" [gamilaraay, yuwaalaraay]; "ooda*", "oot", "ngambin", "moorytch*", "moonbi" (WA); "wingabutta", "gnambam", "murnpip", "warriwarri"

Size: 30-36 cm
Weight: 315 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Common Bronzewing at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Common Bronzewing on the ground
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2014]

Near-frontal view of a male Common Bronzewing (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead Reserve, Anstead, QLD, March 2017]

Lateral view of a male Common Bronzewing
[Girraween NP, QLD, January 2017

Lateral view of a male Common Bronzewing with prominent iridescence (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Stanthorpe, QLD, March 2015]

Lateral view of a male Common Bronzewing foraging for seeds
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, April 2006]

Lateral view of a male Common Bronzewing, slightly different posture
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, April 2006]

Lateral view of a male Common Bronzewing that came very close to our house
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2014]

This male Common Bronzewing looks pale compared with other birds shown here (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2014]

Near-dorsal view of a male Common Bronzewing
[Girraween NP, QLD, January 2017

Near-dorsal view of a male Common Bronzewing on the ground
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2014]

Dorsal view of a male Common Bronzewing on the ground
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2014]

Male Common Bronzewing using its thorax as resonance body to intonate its deep "whoop" call
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

FEMALE

Near-frontal view of a female Common Bronzewing approaching a waterhole; the grey forehead characterises the bird as a female
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, December 2011]

Lateral view of a female Common Bronzewing (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Lateral view of a female Common Bronzewing, typically sitting in a shady place on a dirt road
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, October 2008]

Different female Common Bronzewing, similar view
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, September 2008]

The same Common Bronzewing as above, now out in sunlight; note how under this angle of illumination there is hardly any iridescence from the wing coverts, while in the photo above, although in the shade, various colours are visible
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, September 2008]

Dorsal view of a Common Bronzewing; this photo gives a clear impression of the wide-angle vision of seed-eaters that are subject to predation by raptors - even from almost straight behind the bulge of one eye is still visible (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Hollands Landing, near Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, VIC, October 2014]

A couple of Common Bronzewings on the edge of a dirt road; the female is seen in the foreground, the male farther back; although the male is out of focus, note the splendour of his plumage (photo taken in August, at the start of the breeding season)
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, August 2008]

Couple of Common Bronzewings caught by the side of a road late at dusk; male in front, female in the background

This photo is a reminder of the "olden days", when Common Bronzewings were still plentiful - on this occasion we saw a total of about 50 birds
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, May 2011]

Common Bronzewings drinking from a water hole in very faint light on a rainy afternoon, just before sunset; this shot shows the amazing colours of their iridescent wing feathers even in bad light
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, July 2011]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Feb Eggs: 2 Incubation period: 16 - 18 days Fledging age: ca. 21 days

The breeding season may depend on geographic latitude. Given the right conditions, Common Bronzewings can breed almost any time of the year.

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Basket Material: Twigs Height above ground: 2 - 15(?) m

Additional information

It is known that Common Bronzewings will re-use nests of other species. The photo below shows that they do not mind building their stick nest inside an old mud nest. We have compiled some more information on the (re-)use of mud nests.

Male Common Bronzewing sitting on its nest, which is built ontop of a re-used White-winged Chough nest
[Leard State Forest, NSW, November 2012]

Female Common Bronzewing on its typical flimsy stick nest (photo courtesy of B. Kinross)

Unusually low Common Bronzewing nest only 0.5 m from the ground, on an ironbark eucalypt with new shoots (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Baradine/Coonamble area, NSW, 1980ies]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 34 x 25 mm Colour: White Shape: Ellipsoidal

Closer look at the 2 eggs inside an unusually low Common Bronzewing nest (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Baradine/Coonamble area, NSW, 1980ies]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Pair/flock

Out in nature, Common Bronzewings are usually quite shy and hard to approach on foot, although they do occasionally let cars get very close. While others species, such as e.g. Crested Pigeons and Peaceful Doves often stay around farms, Common Bronzewings have never been seen by us to stay close to humans. This may contribute to the fact that they are not common in parts of their former habitat any longer, possibly due to loss of habitat. In large pieces of contiguous bushland, such as e.g. the Pilliga scrub, they are still abundant.

Solitary male Common Bronzewing trying to hide in tall grass by the side of a road
[Near Narrabri, NSW, November 2011]

Male Common Bronzewing on an earth mound by the side of a road
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2014]

When being fed, Common Bronzewings can become docile, as shown in the photos below.

Frontal view of a male Common Bronzewing taking food sitting on a person's knee (photo courtesy of M. McMillan)
[Greensborough, VIC, July 2014]

Lateral view of a male Common Bronzewing taking food sitting on a person's knee (photo courtesy of M. McMillan)
[Greensborough, VIC, July 2014]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

All pigeons and doves are strictly vegetarian. Common Bronzewings are seed-eaters.

This male Common Bronzewing is waiting in a tree for traffic to clear, before returning to foraging by the side of a dirt road
[Near Maules Creek, NSW, March 2013]

This female Common Bronzewing may have been picking up grit (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Hollands Landing, near Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, VIC, October 2014]

This is the female Common Bronzewing whose wing beats were recorded by us on 21 February 2015, departing after having a drink from an artifical dam
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, February 2015]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

We will try to replace these poor recording with better ones as soon as possible.

cbrwing_20140919_2.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact call (male?) © MD
cbrwing_20141119.mp3 (NW NSW) Q&A (pair?) © MD

We have also recorded the wing beat of a Common Bronzewing.

cbrwing_20150221_noNR.mp3 (NW NSW) Departure (female) © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.