Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

White-quilled Rock-pigeon (Petrophassa albipennis)


French: Colombine des rochers German: Weißspiegeltaube Spanish: Paloma roquera aliblanca
Other common names: White-winged Rock-pigeon

Petrophassa albipennis


, 1841,

Victoria River, Western Australia


Race boothi relatively distinct owing to lack of white in wing from which species derives its English and scientific names, but, while this change is fairly abrupt in the continuous population, all other features of the two taxa are clinal#R. Proposed race alisteri (Broome Bay area of N Western Australia) duller and with smaller white wing patch, considered to represent W end of cline#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. albipennis Gould, 1841 – White-quilled Rock-pigeon – NC Australia: NE Western Australia in Kimberley region (Oobagooma to Kununurra), and N Northern Territory N of Baines R and into ranges of Fitzmaurice R.
  • P. a. boothi Goodwin, 1969 – Dark-quilled Rock-pigeon – N Northern Territory from Stokes Range to Waterloo Station and SE to upper reaches of Baines R.
  • Descriptive notes

    28–30 cm; male 106–156 g, female 103–145 g. Plump ground-dwelling pigeon with long rounded tail and short, broad wings that often droop below tail when... read more


    Poorly documented. Advertising call said to be a somewhat musical phrase, e.g. “coo-coo roo roo coo... read more


    Rocky sandstone and limestone plateaux and associated gullies, and escarpments. Often on bare rocks... read more

    Food and feeding

    Granivorous; takes seeds from a variety of plants, depending on availability; important plant families include Fabaceae (Acacia,... read more


    Apparently occurs all year round; nests found in all months except Feb, Apr, Sept and Dec. Nest variable, some being scant platforms of... read more


    Apparently undertakes only local foraging movements. Like P. rufipennis, takes off with a... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. No population estimates available. Reported to be common around Jasper Gorge in mid-1970s but may have declined since then. The greatest threat may... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). White-quilled Rock-pigeon (Petrophassa albipennis). 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 25 January 2020).