Drawing: Jenny Holmes
WHITE-HEADED PIGEON: Columba leucomela 40 cm
The White-headed Pigeon is endemic to rainforests in eastern Australia.
It is a close relative of the domesticated pigeon and is of similar size and shape.
In forests this pigeon is difficult to observe. By contrast, around towns and farms it may form large flocks to feed, especially on fallen fruits of the exotic Camphor Laurel. Regular sites include Yungaburra, Malanda and Atherton.
When nesting, it is detected most readily by its loud booming calls.
The nests of many pigeons and doves seem to consist of not much more than a beakful of twigs and a prayer. It is surprising that they hold eggs, let alone wriggling nestlings.
It has been suggested that these nests may dry out quickly after rain. Flimsiness, however, may be an illusion; the sticks in nests of superb fruit-doves were found to consist of forked twigs which were locked into place and difficult to pull apart. (Source: Department of Environment)
Small numbers are regularly seen overflying the rainforest clearing at Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge .
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