Pigeons and Doves in Australia

August 2015
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    7th August 2015
  • ISBN 9780643096332
  • Language English
  • Pages 360 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9.5"
  • Images 98 illus

Possibly the most successful urban birds, pigeons and doves in the Order Columbiformes are one of the most easily recognized groups. They are an ancient and very successful group with an almost worldwide distribution and are most strongly represented in tropical and subtropical regions, including Australia. In most species simple plumage patterns feature mainly grey and brown with black, white or dull reddish markings, but the highly colorful fruit-doves include some of the most beautiful of all birds.

From dense rainforests of north Queensland, where brilliantly plumaged Superb Fruit-Doves Ptilinopus superbus are heard more easily than seen, to cold, windswept heathlands of Tasmania, where Brush Bronzewings Phaps elegans are locally common, most regions of Australia are frequented by one or more species. For more than a century after arrival of the First Fleet, interest in these birds focused on the eating qualities of larger species. In addition to contributing to declines of local populations in some parts of Australia, excessive hunting brought about the extinction of two species on Lord Howe Island and another species on Norfolk Island.

In Pigeons and Doves of Australia, Joseph Forshaw and William Cooper have summarized our current knowledge of all species, including those occurring on Christmas, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands, and with superb artwork have given readers a visual appreciation of the birds in their natural habitats. Historical accounts of extinct species are also included. Detailed information on management practices for all species is presented, ensuring that Pigeons and Doves in Australia will become the standard reference work on these birds for ornithologists and aviculturists.


"RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for anyone who's a fan of Cooper's artwork. Also for anyone that collects bird family monographs or has a serious interest in the birds of Australia."

Ian Paulsen - The Birdbooker Report

"This volume deserves a place among the classic bird books of the world. It can sit proudly among the works of Caley, Gould and Audubon and adds greatly to our knowledge of the many and varied members the pigeon tribe. William Cooper’s beautiful illustrations are a delight and for those who may not be all that interested in scientific description they alone would be reason enough to buy the book."

- NPA Quarterly Review

Australian pigeons and doves in aviculture

Genus Columba Linnaeus
Subgenus Columba Linnaeus
FERAL PIGEON Columba livia Gmelin
Subgenus Janthoenas Reichenbach
WHITE-HEADED PIGEON Columba leucomela Temminck
WHITE-THROATED PIGEON Columba vitiensis Quoy and Gaimard
Genus Streptopelia Bonaparte
Subgenus Spilopelia Sundevall
SPOTTED TURTLEDOVE Streptopelia chinensis (Scopoli)
LAUGHING TURTLEDOVE Streptopelia senegalensis (Linnaeus)
Subgenus Streptopelia Linnaeu
BARBARY TURTLEDOVE Streptopelia roseogrisea (Sundevall)
Tribe MACROPYGIINI Bonaparte
Genus Macropygia Swainson
BROWN CUCKOO-DOVE Macropygia amboinensis (Linnaeus)
Subfamily RAPHINAE
Genus Chalcophaps Gould
EMERALD DOVE Chalcophaps indica (Linnaeus)
Tribe PHABINI Bonaparte
Genus Alopecoenas Sharpe
Subgenus Terricolumba Hachisuka
NORFOLK ISLAND GROUND DOVE Alopecoenas norfolkensis sp. nov.
Genus Leucosarcia Gould
WONGA PIGEON Leucosarcia melanoleuca (Latham)
Genus Phaps Selby
Subgenus Phaps Selby
COMMON BRONZEWING Phaps chalcoptera (Latham)
BRUSH BRONZEWING Phaps elegans (Temminck)
Subgenus Histriophaps Salvadori
FLOCK BRONZEWING Phaps histrionica (Gould)
Genus Ocyphaps G R Gray
CRESTED BRONZEWING Ocyphaps lophotes (Temminck)
Genus Geophaps GR Gray
Subgenus Lophophaps Reichenbach
SPINIFEX PIGEON Geophaps plumifera Gould
Subgenus Geophaps GR Gray
SQUATTER PIGEON Geophaps scripta (Temminck)
PARTRIDGE PIGEON Geophaps smithii (Jardine and Selby)
Genus Petrophassa Gould
WHITE-QUILLED ROCK PIGEON Geophaps smithii (Jardine and Selby)
CHESTNUT-QUILLED ROCK PIGEON Petrophassa rufipennis Collett
Genus Geopelia Swainson
DIAMOND DOVE Geopelia cuneata (Latham)
PEACEFUL DOVE Geopelia placida Gould
BAR-SHOULDERED DOVE Geopelia humeralis (Temminck)
Genus Ducula Hodgson
Subgenus Ducula Hodgson
COLLARED IMPERIAL PIGEON Ducula mullerii (Temminck)
Subgenus Myristicivora Reichenbach
PIED IMPERIAL PIGEON Ducula bicolor (Scopoli)
Genus Megaloprepia Reichenbach
WOMPOO FRUIT-DOVE Megaloprepia magnifica (Temminck)
Genus Ptilinopus Swainson
Subgenus Leucotreron Bonaparte
BANDED FRUIT-DOVE Ptilinopus cinctus (Temminck)
Subgenus Lamprotreron Bonaparte
SUPERB FRUIT-DOVE Ptilinopus superbus (Temminck)
Subgenus Sylphitreron Bonaparte
ORANGE-BELLIED FRUIT-DOVE Ptilinopus iozonus (GR Gray)
Subgenus Ptilinopus Swainson
ROSE-CROWNED FRUIT-DOVE Ptilinopus regina Swainson
Genus Lopholaimus Gould
TOPKNOT PIGEON Lopholaimus antarcticus (Shaw)
Genus Hemiphaga Bonaparte
NORFOLK ISLAND PIGEON Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae (Gmelin)

Appendix: Vagrants
RED TURTLEDOVE Streptopelia tranquebarica (Hermann)
ORIENTAL TURTLEDOVE Streptopelia orientalis (Latham)
NICOBAR PIGEON Caloenas nicobarica (Linnaeus)
ELEGANT IMPERIAL PIGEON Ducula concinna (Wallace)
WALLACE’S FRUIT DOVE Ptilinopus wallacii (GR Gray) Gazetteer
Locality map of Australia

Joseph Forshaw

Joseph M. Forshaw AM is a Research Associate in the Ornithology Section at the Australian Museum and the author of a number of award-winning natural history books. In 2015, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to ornithology and wildlife conservation. His previous books include Vanished and Vanishing Parrots (2017) and Pigeons and Doves in Australia (2015).

William T. Cooper, AO

William T. Cooper AO (1934–2015) originally painted landscapes and seascapes but turned to painting birds because of a lifelong love of natural history. He collaborated on many bird monographs with Joseph M. Forshaw. In 1990, William was awarded the Philadelphia Academy of Science Gold Medal, and in 1994 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to art and to ornithology. A collection of his original paintings is owned by the National Library of Australia and many others are in private collections around the world.

Other books illustrated by William T. Cooper include Pigeons and Doves in Australia written by Joseph M. Forshaw, and Australian Rainforest Fruits: A Field Guide, written by Wendy Cooper.