Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-quilled Rock-pigeon (Petrophassa rufipennis)


French: Colombine rufipenne German: Rotspiegeltaube Spanish: Paloma roquera alirrufa
Other common names: Red-quilled Rock-pigeon

Petrophassa rufipennis


, 1898,

South Alligator River, Northern Territory, Australia




NC Australia: W escarpment of Arnhem Land (N Northern Territory), from Oenpelli S to Katherine, and E to headwaters of Mann R, East Alligator R and Goomadeer R; rarely farther E.

Descriptive notes

28–31 cm; 160 g. Plump ground-dwelling pigeon with long rounded tail and short broad wings, often drooping below tail when perched. Head and neck mostly blackish brown... read more


Poorly documented. A repeated single mellow cooing note lasting c. 1 second, initially rising in... read more


Very much a specialist of open, arid, sandstone gorges and boulder fields and adjacent woodland and... read more

Food and feeding

Granivorous; the most important food plants are various species of Fabaceae, particularly members of genus Acacia; other important... read more


Limited field data; nest remained undescribed until 1972. Data from specimens suggests breeding occurs all year round, with possible peak... read more


As far as is known, undertakes only local movements in response to changing food and water... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. No population estimates available. Species is common in appropriate habitat within its very limited range. Possible long-term threats include the... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). Chestnut-quilled Rock-pigeon (Petrophassa rufipennis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).