Monday, July 9, 2012

Common Bronzewing

Phaps chalcoptera
The Common Bronzewing is a medium sized species of Pigeon that is found throughout Australia. They live in a wide range of habitats, usually near sources of water,  and can be found just about anywhere that isn't a dense rainforest or a dry desert.

The common name from the species comes from their brightly colored wings. Both males and females sport patches of blue, green, red, and (of course) bronze, on them (though the females are a bit less shiny). These colors stand out when compared to greyish-brown feathers found on the rest of their bodies. The birds also have small white lines under their eyes, and juveniles posses the same coloration, only more dull.

Common Bronzewings are very adaptable birds. As already mentioned, they live in a huge range of habitats and temperature ranges. They also live in all sorts of differently size social groups. Some birds around found alone, others travel in pairs, while others move in small flocks. They are also adaptable when it comes to feeding, taking different kinds of available seeds and grasses while foraging on the ground.

One final example of their adaptability concerns their reproductive habits. They don't have a set breeding season, and will reproduce during any time of the year as long as there are suitable conditions. Males put on a bowing courtship display, displaying their shiny feathers to the females. The pair will build a very flimsy-looking nest, and two eggs are laid at a time. The parents share incubation duties (which is a very short 14-16 day time period) and they both feed and care for the chicks, which are fed "Pigeon Milk" from their parents' crops.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Australia
Size : Length up to 14in (36cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Columbiformes
Family : Columbidae -- Genus : Phaps -- Species : P. chalcoptera

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