Brush Bronzewing

Phaps elegans

This is a robust medium sized pigeon which is endemic to Australia. It has a small round head, deep chest, short rounded wings and short tail. There are two curved bronze iridescent blue-green bars across each wing. A dark, chestnut stripe through eyes, underlined by white and a chestnut throat patch are distinguishing features. The male has a chestnut forehead. The female lacks the forehead patch and is generally duller. They are a found around south-west and south-east mainland Australia and Tasmania.

Breeding

Breeds in any month but mostly October – January. The female builds the nest on the ground or in trees but more commonly in dense brush. Once the 2 eggs are laid, the female incubates during the day. Little is known about wild birds, but those in captivity sit for 15-18 days before the chicks hatch. The chicks fledge at about 16 days and the young remain with their parents until they nest again, which can be as little as 3-4 weeks later.

Behaviour

The Brush Bronzewing inhabits areas with a dense shrub layer, and so can occur in the grassy heath lands near the coast and behind sand dunes, or further inland in wet or dry forests or woodlands. They are most commonly seen as singles or pairs, with flocking being a rarely-reported occurrence and then only of less than 10 birds at a time. They drink at dawn or dusk, alighting some distance from the water then cautiously making their way to the edge to drink.

Diet

These birds feed exclusively on the ground on seeds of various plants.

Status

Common.

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