The Coat of Many Colours

The Wompoo Fruit-Dove is a riot of colour, as though a pigeon has been coloured in by a toddler with a new set of paints. 

These birds are not often seen, as they tend to hang about high up in the tree canopy feasting on rainforest fruit such as figs. They are considered to be the largest Australian bird that disperses fruit seeds, and so Wompoo Fruit-Doves play an important role in the regeneration of many rainforest trees. 

An individual bird will often remain in a fruiting tree for days at a time, clambering about in a parrot-like agile fashion. I have most commonly found them at the Noosa Botanic Gardens and in the West Cooroy State Forest. 

Wompoos get their name from their distinctive call, which has been more accurately paraphrased as sounding like “bollocks are blue”. This rude call is one way of locating these birds. Another method is to listen for the sound of fruit falling to the ground, because they’re messy eaters.

These delightful birds can be found up and down coastal Queensland and into NSW, wherever there is remnant rainforest, however they are listed as vulnerable in NSW due to habitat loss. Their conservation status isn’t helped by the fact that they raise just one chick each season. 

Tony Wellington

Writer & Photographer

Former Mayor of Noosa, author, photographer, artist, film-maker, lecturer, musician, social commentator and environmentalist. Welcome to Tony’s stunning view of what makes Noosa special.

This Post Has 2 Comments

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    In 1952 as a small boy I was walking through the Green Belt bush where I lived in West Chatswood. Suddenly I looked up and saw this beautiful bird perched low down. I was stunned by its beauty and was determined to find out what it was. With the help of our school librarian I found out it was a Wompoo “Pigeon”. It must have been the last of its kind that far South as I have never seen one since despite always on the lookout when up the coast. I have never forgotten that image so very long ago. Looks like a visit coming up to Noosa Bot Gardens!

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    Lovely pics Tony. Re the “bollocks are blue”, that’s probably a common call this winter with the record low temps being recorded over wide areas thanks to global warming er, climate change! (TIC)

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