Superb Fruit-Dove

Did you know?

Fruit-Doves are among the most important seed dispersers in Australian tropical and sub-tropical forests.

Calls
Slow, steady series of 'whoops'. This distinguishes the Superb Fruit-Dove from the Rose-Crowned fruit Dove.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
22cm
Maximum Size: 
24cm
Average size: 
23cm
Average weight: 
110g
Breeding season: 
September to January
Clutch Size: 
One.
Incubation: 
14 days
Nestling Period: 
7 days
Conservation Status
Associated Plants
Plants associated with this species
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Atlas Number: 
23
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Superb Fruit-Dove is a small colourful pigeon of the tree canopy. It is a compact bird, with short rounded wings and a short tail. The male has a purple crown, an orange hindneck, a blue-black breastband that separates a grey upper breast from white underparts. These are partly barred green, and the rest of the body is green. The green tail has grey tips. The female is green, with a grey breast and white underparts. There is a smallish purple patch on the crown. Young birds resemble females but lack the purple crown patch. This species is also called the Purple-crowned Fruit Dove or Pigeon, or the Superb Fruit-Pigeon.

Similar species: 

The Superb Fruit-Dove is similar in size and, from the ground, often difficult to distinguish from the Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, P. regina, when high in the forest canopy. However, at closer quarters the male Superb Fruit-Dove is much more striking and, like the male, the female has white underparts partly barred at the sides with green, in contrast to the apricot-yellow underparts of both sexes of the Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Superb Fruit-Dove is found along the coast and nearby ranges of Queensland and New South Wales south to Moruya.

Habitat: 

The Superb Fruit-Dove is found in rainforests, rainforest margins, mangroves, wooded stream-margins, and even isolated figs, lilly pillies and pittosporums.

Seasonal movements: 

The Superb Fruit-Dove may migrate to New Guinea in winter, but little is known of its movements, or the reasons for its sometimes southerly flights as far as Tasmania.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Superb Fruit-Doves are arboreal (living entirely in trees) and feed almost exclusively on fruit, mainly in large trees. They have a large gape, which allows them to swallow bulky items.

Breeding: 

Superb Fruit-Doves build a flimsy platform nest of twigs in bushy trees from 5 m - 30 m above the ground. The female incubates the eggs at night while the male incubates by day.

Living with us

Clearing of their forest habitat restricts access to fruit by Superb Fruit-Doves. They are listed as vulnerable in New South Wales. As they often move at night, many young birds fly into windows of buildings during their north-south movements.

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