Overview

Comprehensive Description

The Bar-shouldered Dove is a medium-sized, long-tailed dove. Adults doves have a blue-grey head, neck and upper breast, with a distinctive reddish-bronze patch on the hindneck, with dark barring. Young doves lack this patch and barring and tend to be duller overall. There is also a distinctive pinkish bar on the lower breast. The lower body is pale. They have a blue-grey eye-ring and reddish eye. They are usually seen in pairs or small parties. The northern subspecies hedlandi is lighter in colour. This species is also known as the Mangrove Dove, Scrub Dove, or Kookawook. Voice: A loud and distinctive 'cook coo cook coo' and a bubbling, descending call.

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Distribution

Subspecies and Distribution:


    * gregalis Bangs & J. L. Peters, 1926 - SE New Guinea. * humeralis (Temminck, 1821) - N & E Australia. * headlandi Mathews, 1913 - Pilbara region, NC Western Australia.


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Physical Description

Size

27-30 cm, 130 g

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Diagnostic Description

The Bar-shouldered Dove is a medium-sized, long-tailed dove. Adults doves have a blue-grey head, neck and upper breast, with a distinctive reddish-bronze patch on the hindneck, with dark barring. Young doves lack this patch and barring and tend to be duller overall. There is also a distinctive pinkish bar on the lower breast. The lower body is pale. They have a blue-grey eye-ring and reddish eye. They are usually seen in pairs or small parties. The northern subspecies hedlandi is lighter in colour. This species is also known as the Mangrove Dove, Scrub Dove, or Kookawook. Voice: A loud and distinctive 'cook coo cook coo' and a bubbling, descending call.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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are found in woodland with a grassy understorey and in nearby open areas, usually near water. They are also often found in mangroves and are frequently seen in urban areas. FOOD: Feed on the ground in short grass near cover. They need to drink throughout the day. They mainly eat seeds of grasses, herbs and sedges, as well as rhizomes (small root storages).

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Trophic Strategy

Feed on the ground in short grass near cover. They need to drink throughout the day. They mainly eat seeds of grasses, herbs and sedges, as well as rhizomes (small root storages).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

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Reproduction

The nest of the Bar-shouldered Dove is usually hidden in dense shrubs or trees and in gardens, throughout its range. A thin platform is made from twigs and roots and is placed in a fork or on a branch. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. Young doves are fed with 'crop milk', specially produced by the parent birds (a common characteristic of pigeons and doves).Breeding season: Year-round in the north, August to November in the south. Clutch size: Two Incubation: 14 days Time in nest: 21 days

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Not Threatened.

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Population

Population
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as generally common, although scarce in the south of its range (Gibbs et al. 2001).

Population Trend
Stable
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Wikipedia

Bar-shouldered Dove

The Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis) is native to Australia. It is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. It is a medium sized pigeon varying in size from 26 to 30 centimetres (10.4 to 12 inches). Its voice is a distinctive and melodious "cook-a-wook" or "coolicoo".

Description[edit]

The dove has a blue-grey breast with chequered brown-bronze wings. The nape is similar to that of the Peaceful Dove in that the nape feathers are striated but differs in that the Bar-shouldered Dove does not have striated throat feathers like the Peaceful Dove. Furthermore, the nape feathers are copper in colour. These doves are also often confused with the introduced and common Spotted Turtle-Dove. The eye ring tends to be grey but red-brown when breeding. The juveniles are duller in colour.

Doves are often found in pairs, groups or large loose flocks and are seen commonly feeding on the ground feeding on seeds. Flight is direct and swift and wings whistle while the birds are in flight.

Habitat[edit]

Bar-shouldered Doves are usually found in thick vegetation where water is present, damp gullies, forests and gorges, mangroves, plantations, swamps, eucalyptus woodlands, tropical and sub-tropical scrubs and river margins. They can be found both at inland and coastal regions. The bar-shouldered dove is found over the east coast from Southern New South Wales (with increasing numbers in the Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions), north to Cape York Peninsula and west to the Pilbara region (about Onslow, Western Australia. They have been seen increasingly in southern Australia, specifically in north-western Victoria but may have been displaced in other natural locations by introduced species. The doves have also been spotted in the Torres Strait. It is also found in other countries of the South Pacific region, such as Papua New Guinea.

Breeding[edit]

Breeding season is from September to January in the south and February to April in the north. Its nest is a flat twig and grass platform usually in trees and shrubs, mangrove or scrub. The dove will lay two, white, glossy and rounded eggs.

References[edit]

  • Pizzey and Knight, "Field Guide to the Birds of Australia", Angus & Robertson, ISBN 0-207-19691-5
  • Trounsen and Trounsen, "Australian Birds: A Concise Photographic Field Guide, Cameron House. ISBN 1-875999-47-7.
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