Chestnut-Quilled Rock Pigeon
Petrophassa rufipennis

AKA: Red-winged Rock Pigeon, Rufous-quilled Rock Pigeon

Pair - D. Brown (R. Hill)

Distribution: is found in deep sandstone gorges, rocky gullies & cliffs in the area from the Katherine Gorge to Oenpelli in the Northern Territory of Australia. They spend their time on the ground foraging for the seeds of grasses, herbs & fig trees which grow among the huge rocks. May also consume small amounts of greens & insects.

Description: (Collett 1898); Length 28 cm (12 - 12 1/2 inches). Head, neck, mantle & breast feathers dark sepia or dusky brown having a pale grey bases and buff fringes which form the scaly appearance. The throat & narrow stripe below & extending past the eye is white & is bordered above with a small black stripe extending thru the eye from the bill also bordered above with a thin white stripe. Primaries & secondaries bright chestnut with dark brown tips (chestnut color best seen when bird is in flight or stretching the wing). Belly and undertail dark brown. Eyes, bill, legs & feet dark brown. Female similar; juvenile are duller appearance.

Nesting: Clutch two creamy white eggs; incubation 15-19 days; fledgling from 12 to 17 days, becoming independent within 3-4 weeks.

Note: Has small concealed greenish or purplish iridescent spots on one or more of the inner secondaries and primary wing coverts, considered as the display plumage, which is common to the other Australian Bronzewing species.