Bird ID from description

To: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: Bird ID from description
From: Martin Butterfield via Canberrabirds <>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2023 05:27:54 +0000
The Brown Cuckoo-Dove that visited Gipsy Point last year did come very close to the ground but only to take advantage of food, not the behaviour described.

On Tue, 7 Mar 2023 at 15:52, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
Can't really be sure at all from this, but it is likely to be a pigeon. My suggestion is the much more likely Spotted Turtle-Dove (even juveniles that don't have the black patch with white spots on the neck), which matches those features. Have you checked that one in a book and considered that one? Brown Cuckoo-Dove does not have that white in the tail and I don't know that they come to the ground.


-----Original Message-----
From: Canberrabirds [ On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, 7 March, 2023 3:04 PM
To: CanberraBirds email list
Subject: Bird ID from description

Hello All

Sylvia has sent several emails to the COG office with descriptions of
bird visitors to her Charnwood garden. If you can help her with an ID
please contact her.


Margaret Robertson

"I've seen groups of a brown bird recently using my bird bath (upper
Charnwood). They appear to be the brown cuckoo-dove. Has anyone else
noticed them in this region? But, consulting Simpson, they don't mention
these birds as having white parts under the wings and tail when they are
spread, which the ones I see have.

The birds I have, coming in groups of 3-4, are nothing like Common Mynas
which have head markings and white on belly. They are larger and look
like doves, with small head, slim neck, quite a large body and longish
tail. When wings and tail are not spread they are more or less an even
brown all over. I haven’t seen them before and realise they have come
farther west than usual. I’ve seen them in the summer and this month.
One time they lay on their fronts on the ground after bathing, beaks to
one side, and spread their wings and tails so you could see the white,
which you only see as a flash in flight. I don’t have a camera but might
try to do something, hoping they won’t leave. It is like a forest here
with lots of trees and shrubs in gardens and public spaces like green
belts (special design of Charnwood).

I thought your group would like to know about this. I cannot think what
other bird they would be and they might have come to Canberra for the
first time.

When the birds were lying on the ground it was on gravel and I noticed
one was pecking at it. Then I read they sometimes eat gravel. I have a
large mulberry tree and plum tree with fruit nearby."

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