Usually visits in pairs in the evening.
The White-headed Pigeon is a large pigeon with a distinctive white head, neck and breast, which sometimes have an orange or greyish wash. The back, wings and tail are dark grey to black and the underparts are grey. The male has a metallic green or purple sheen, and the female often has a darker cap and is usually greyer. Young White-headed Pigeons resemble darker females. The eye ring is pink to dark red and the legs and feet are also pink-red.
The White-headed Pigeon is found eastern of the Great Dividing Range from far north Queensland to southern New South Wales.
The White-headed Pigeon prefers tall tropical to sub-tropical rainforests, and is often seen in forest remnants. Also regularly found in Camphor Laurel trees in agricultural areas and in privet. Often seen in suburban gardens and will come to feeding trays; also at roadsides.
The White-headed Pigeon feeds on rainforest fruits and seeds, but strongly prefers laurels, such as the introduced Camphor Laurel. They feed in trees, sometimes in flocks, and will travel several kilometres to feed in open country.
The White-headed Pigeon builds a platform of sticks in dense tree foliage or in tangled vines. Both members of breeding pairs incubate and care for the single young.
Living with us
The planting of Camphor Laurels in cleared areas originally favoured the White-headed Pigeon and allowed it to expand its range. However, recent bush regeneration removal of Camphor Laurels and privets has reduced populations in some areas.