Size - 38-42cm. A large pigeon with white head and chest, black on the outer wings and tail, black bars under the tail and a white rump. A yellow bill.
A summer breeding migrant to the coasts of north Australia from August-April, having spent winter in New Guinea. Breed in colonies mostly in mangroves on the offshore islands, with a few breeding on the mainland in mangroves and rainforest. The nest is a solid platform of sticks, often with green leaves attached, on a mangrove fork 1-5m high. One large white egg. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the young. Incubation is 26-28 days and the young fledge at 3-4 weeks.
Adults feed on the mainland each day on rainforest fruits and then return to the island at night – popular are Lawyer Vine, Laurel and other rainforest trees. Alternate parents leave the nest each day for feeding. Call is often a gentle ‘coo-hoo’ while feeding.
Usually seen in flocks, sometimes singly or small groups, particularly early and then again late in the day. Flight is fast and direct.
Regularly seen feeding in the garden of Red Mill House and in the village of Daintree.