Common Bronzewing

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The Common Bronzewing, Phaps chalcoptera is a medium-sized bird (30-36cm), large bodied pigeon with a small head. The Common Bronzewings back has dark brown feathers with pale edges, with the tail being tipped white. The wings have multicoloured iridescent feathers, and the eyes are dark with an underlining of white. The underparts of the neck can range from bluish shading to pinkish/brown, with the legs ranging from a soft pink to a hard red. The bill is usually grey. In flight, the underwing is rufous.

The male bronzewing has a cream/buff forehead and the female's grey. Their call is mournful, resonating with repeated 'oom'. Their temperament is shy and wary, when disturbed taking off with a whirring sound.

Feeding Habits

The bronzewing forages on the ground mostly for seeds, often alone or in pairs, irregularly feeding in small parties.


The breeding period is between the months July and January. The bronzewing nest is built of a flat platform of slender twigs on a thick branch, in a tree fork, or a mistletoe clump. Sometimes the bronzewing reuses old magpie or crow nests and lays two eggs.

Places to Look

  • Dams, as they come in to drink early morning and late afternoon.
  • Woodlands and scrub
  • Acacia thickets
  • Farmland and often flushed from roadsides.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

Common Bronzewing © Birdlife Townsville 2008

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