Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca

Wonga Pigeon

Leucosarcia melanoleuca

Family: Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves, 25 species in Australia)
Size: 36-39 cm
Distribution: Within about 200 km of the coasts of NSW, South QLD, Eastern VIC
Status: Common
Habitat: Coastal, dense forests, scrubs, rainforests
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The Wonga Pigeon is known for its "woop, woop, woop, woop, woop..." call, which can go for hours, almost without a break. In older times it was known for being good eating, and is one of the only (perhaps the only) pigeon with white meat.

The Wonga Pigeon is almost always seen on the ground and it is very shy, they are heard much more than they are seen.

Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca
Photo: Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney NSW. High Resolution (2556 x 1779).

Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca
Photo: Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains NSW

Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca
Photo: Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains NSW

Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources


Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler.This is known to birdwatchers as "Simpson and Day". I like the pictures in this one the best out of all the major field guides. The information is still very highly regarded compared to most of the other guides. Many serious birdwatchers think "Pizzey and Knight" (listed here) is the best though. I bought this one since I liked the pictures so much I figured (correctly) that I would spend more time looking through it. I feel that I made the right choice since I love the pictures in this one so much. I have the 6th edition, the current one is the updated version of the 8th edition, which has a different colour cover to the original 8th edition with a black cover. I'm not sure why they haven't called this the 9th edition.

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. updated version from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. original version from Amazon


Birdsong, Don Stap Birdsong, Don Stap. From the promotional material: "Following one of the world's experts on birdsong from the woods of Martha's Vineyard to the tropical forests of Central America, Don Stap brings to life the quest to unravel an ancient mystery: Why do birds sing and what do their songs mean? We quickly discover that one question leads to another. Why does the chestnut-sided warbler sing one song before dawn and another after sunrise? Why does the brown thrasher have a repertoire of two thousand songs when the chipping sparrow has only one? And how is the hermit thrush able to sing a duet with itself, producing two sounds simultaneously to create its beautiful, flutelike melody?"

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase from Wilderness Awareness School $24.00 USD (May not work)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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