Backyard Birds

Brown Cuckoo-doves

The Brown Cuckoo-doves, Macropygia phasianella, are found in eastern Australia from Weipa and Aurukun in the north to Bega in the south and most inland at Atherton and Toowoomba.

They can be nomadic, depending on the availability of food. Some have been seen in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

They tend to fly short distances and low to the ground with great strength.

The Brown Cuckoo-doves inhabit rainforest, scrubs, and rainforest regrowth areas. They can generally be found in open places of low vegetation. They are usually seen in pairs or groups.


This pigeon averages 40 to 43 cm (16 to 17.2 inches) in length. Its feathers are of a rich rusty-brown color. The male will tend to have a slight rose/green coloration on their necks. It has a very long tail and short wings.

Call /Vocalizations

Its call is a very loud “whoop-a whoop”.

Diet / Feeding

They feed on berries from both native plants and introduced weed species.

Nesting / Breeding

Breeding takes place in spring and summer. Their platform nest is made out of sticks and vines, and situated either in a fork of a tree or on top of a low tree.

The hen usually only lays one creamy, white egg.

Further Dove Information


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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