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11

White-headed Pigeon

(Columba leucomela)
Alternate name(s): "Baldy", "Baldy Pigeon"
Size: 38-40 cm
Weight: 370-500 g

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 White-headed Pigeon at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

MALE

Full-frontal view of a male White-headed Pigeon on the ground; note the absence of any grey mottling around the head or neck (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Ravensbourne NP, QLD, June 2016]

Close-up frontal view of a male White-headed Pigeon (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Peterson Creek, Yunguburra, QLD, March 2022]

Close-up frontal view of a male White-headed Pigeon, now looking sideways
(photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Peterson Creek, Yunguburra, QLD, March 2022]

Frontal view of a male White-headed Pigeon looking sideways (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[South West Rocks, NSW, July 2017]

Frontal/ventral view of a male White-headed Pigeon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, March 2022]

Near-frontal view of a male White-headed Pigeon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, March 2022]

Near-frontal/ventral view of a male White-headed Pigeon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, March 2022]

Near-frontal and lateral view of two male White-headed Pigeons (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, March 2022]

Lateral view of a male White-headed Pigeon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, March 2022]

Lateral view of a male White-headed Pigeon on the ground (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Ravensbourne NP, QLD, June 2016]

Lateral/ventral view of a partly moulting male(?) White-headed Pigeon
[Urunga, NSW, August 2015]

Lateral/ventral view of a partly moulting male(?) White-headed Pigeon looking towards the observer
[Urunga, NSW, August 2015]

Close-up near-dorsal/ventral view of a male White-headed Pigeon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[South West Rocks, NSW, July 2017]

Dorsal view of a male White-headed Pigeon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Anstead, QLD, September 2022]

FEMALE

Frontal/ventral view of a female White-headed Pigeon
[Currumbin Valley, Gold Coast, QLD, May 2014]

Frontal/ventral view of a White-headed Pigeon, now with its head turned sideways and illuminated by sunlight
[Currumbin Valley, Gold Coast, QLD, May 2014]

Sex unknown

Near-lateral/ventral view of a White-headed Pigeon; its mottled plumage may indicate that it is moulting
(photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Currumbin Valley, Gold Coast, QLD, May 2014]

Five out of a flock of up to 30 White-headed Pigeons
[Near Gloucester, NSW, June 2009]

Three White-headed Pigeons visiting a bird feeder (photo courtesy of Y. English)
[Gosford, NSW, January 2010]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Close-up frontal view of a juvenile White-headed Pigeon (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Near Anstead, QLD, March 2017]

Frontal/ventral view of a juvenile White-headed Pigeon
[Urunga, NSW, August 2015]

Lateral view of a juvenile White-headed Pigeon looking backwards
[Urunga, NSW, August 2015]

Close-up lateral view of a male White-headed Pigeon with juvenile/immature offspring (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Ravensbourne NP, QLD, June 2016]

Close-up lateral view of a male White-headed Pigeon with juvenile/immature offspring (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Ravensbourne NP, QLD, June 2016]

Lateral view of a juvenile White-headed Pigeon (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Ravensbourne NP, QLD, June 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a male White-headed Pigeon with juvenile offspring (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Ravensbourne NP, QLD, June 2016]

Behaviour

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

Food, Diet

All pigeons and doves are strictly vegetarian. White-headed Pigeons are primarily fruit-eaters. What brings them close to humans is often their taste for the berries of privet.

Near-frontal view of a male White-headed Pigeon taking a fruit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, March 2022]

Near-lateral/ventral view of a male White-headed Pigeon taking a fruit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Brookfield, Brisbane, QLD, March 2022]

Male White-headed Pigeon drinking water from a waterhole (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Kyogle, NSW, in September 2013]

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.

Doves and pigeons do not, like other birds, open their bills when calling, but they rather "hum" through their noses, with the bill closed.

whpige_art_20140125.mp3 (SE QLD) Contact calls © ART

More White-headed Pigeon sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

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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