Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia melanoleuca)


French: Colombine wonga German: Wongataube Spanish: Paloma wonga

Columba melanoleuca


, 1801,

Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia


A proposal that the specific name picata be reinstated as senior synonym for this species, with current scientific name relegated to junior position#R#R, was countered by others, who emphasized importance of stabilizing nomenclature of Australian species by suppression of disused and dubious senior names#R; current name validated#R. Monotypic.


E Australia from CE Queensland (Rockhampton) S in coastal regions and adjacent mountains to CS Victoria (Melbourne), extending as far as 400 km inland (in Carnarvon Range, in SC Queensland).

Descriptive notes

38–45 cm; 330–500 g. Plump semi-terrestrial pigeon with small head, short, broad wings and long tail; upperparts slate-grey; tail bluish black, with white tips to... read more


Advertising call, given from ground or low branch, is a resonant, far-carrying and monotonous... read more


Dense temperate and subtropical rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest, second growth and scrubby... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on fruits and seeds, which are digested with help of its muscular gizzard; limited data indicate the importance of the food plants... read more


Breeding occurs throughout year, with peak in spring and summer (Sept–Feb). No display flight. Nest is moderately substantial,... read more


Apparently sedentary. Almost always seen on the ground, where walks strongly, with bobbing head;... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Remains common in many areas, although has declined over much of its range, e.g. in N Queensland, Victoria Atlas and N New South Wales, due to... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia melanoleuca). 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 12 December 2019).