One of my favourite native pigeons is the Wonga Pigeon, but it so shy … ‘exceptionally alert’, my bird book says… that it is rarely still long enough to take a photo of it. I do hear its repetitive soft ’coo-coo’, and there is plenty of tree and shrub cover here for this rainforest bird, so its frequent presence is not surprising.
Its beautiful markings are mainly on its front, and as I usually see it on the ground here, I only get the grey back and the white part of its head, with just glimpses of the striping. They never seem to turn to face me, so seeing this one up higher was a treat. Look at those pink legs and feet, often hidden in the grass when they are on the ground!
I have mostly seen two foraging on the ground here, moving their plump bodies swiftly across the patch, bobbing heads back and forth like chooks. However, I read they are solitary except in breeding season.
Last week I briefly saw three, so I am wondering if they have a young one, but they moved too fast for me to tell if one was more brownish than grey, as the immature are.
A few months ago one sat in the sunny grass for ages; I had wondered if she was silly enough to lay eggs there, as it gets mown, but perhaps she was just sunbathing.
Whatever a wary Wonga gets up to, I am a very happy observer.