Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca

Wonga Pigeon

Leucosarcia melanoleuca

Family: Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves, 25 species in Australia)
Size: 36-39 cm
Distribution: Within about 200 km of the coasts of NSW, South QLD, Eastern VIC
Status: Common
Habitat: Coastal, dense forests, scrubs, rainforests
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The Wonga Pigeon is known for its "woop, woop, woop, woop, woop..." call, which can go for hours, almost without a break. In older times it was known for being good eating, and is one of the only (perhaps the only) pigeon with white meat.

The Wonga Pigeon is almost always seen on the ground and it is very shy, they are heard much more than they are seen.

Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca
Photo: Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney NSW. High Resolution (2556 x 1779).

Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca
Photo: Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains NSW

Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca
Photo: Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains NSW

Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources


Sydney Birds and Where to Find Them, Peter Roberts. Sydney Birds and Where to Find Them, Peter Roberts. The 30 top bird-watching localities in and around Sydney. These birding hot spots stretch from Tuggerah Lakes on the Central Coast to Lake Illawarra near Wollongong and from the Blue Mountains in the west to some surprisingly accessible sites tucked away in the heart of the city. Each locality entry lists the key species to look out for including rare and seasonal visitors. It describes how to access the location, and what amenities to expect; maps are featured. There is also a handy list of Sydney birds, each entry providing information on the best spots to find it.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile) $26.51 AUD

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond) Probably more expensive


Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater. This is a smaller field guide, and its advantage is it is easy to carry around. Its size is 21.3 x 11.4 x 2.8 centimetres, or 8.4 x 4.5 x 1.1 inches in the old scale. So it is a good one to get if you want to have your field guide with you out in the field. Unlike most of the field guides it also has illustrations of the eggs of all the birds that breed in Australia. It has very good reviews on Amazon.

Click here to Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile) $28.45 AUD (May be unavailable)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond) May be expensive.

Click here to purchase from Amazon

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Wonga Pigeon - Leucosarcia melanoleuca

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