Pied Imperial Pigeons visit Townsville

white birds in tree
Time for a good shake

I mentioned these handsome birds, Pied Imperial-Pigeons aka Torresian Imperial Pigeons (Ducula bicolor), in mid September and they have been visiting us fairly regularly ever since.

We often see or hear them quite early in the morning or quite late in the afternoon, around 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., so for a while I even thought they may be roosting in our poplar gum overnight. However, we don’t see them earlier or later than those times and I now think they are doing what the books say they do, that is, roosting on their off-shore breeding islands and coming to the mainland only to feed.

I caught the two in my top photo at the end of October. One morning two weeks later I watched as a bigger group, perhaps ten strong, flew in from the North, rested for a while and then continued to the South, towards Ross River and (much further away) Mount Elliott.

For birds which are so brilliantly white while resting, there’s a surprising show of black in their wings in flight.

white bird in flight
Leaving the poplar gum …
white bird in flight
… towards the River

2 thoughts on “Pied Imperial Pigeons visit Townsville”

  1. It’s hard to know when an occasional event stopped happening but I now haven’t seen any of these birds for some weeks, maybe a month, which takes us back to mid-February.

  2. It’s nearly a year since that previous comment, and I’ve just heard their distinctive baritone ‘coo’ again from our poplar gum. I haven’t kept track on a daily or weekly basis but I know they’ve been visiting for several months now.

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