Monday, 7 May 2012

Spinifex pigeon

Geophaps plumifera

(Photo from Wikipedia)

Common name:
spinifex pigeon (en); pombo-plumífero (pt); colombine plumifère (fr); paloma plumífera (es); rotschpftaube (de)

Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

This species is endemic to Australia. There are two separate subspecies, G. p. plumifera is found in arid areas of northern, north-western and north-eastern Australia, while G. p. ferruginea is found in Pilbara, Western Australia.

These birds are 20-24 cm long and weigh 90-110 g.

Spinifex pigeons are mostly fround in dry spinifex grasslands and in arid stony hills and rocky outcrops, but sometimes also in dry woodlands.

They mostly eat the seeds of grasses and herbs, especially Triodia, but will also take some insects and green plants.

The spinifex pigeon breeds in August-January. They nest on a scrape in the ground, sometimes lined with vegetation and usually sheltered by a small scrub, rock or spinifex tussock. The female lays 2 creamy-white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 16-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 9-11 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and it is described as usually common in suitable habitat. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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