Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Common Bronzewing
Phaps chalcoptera
(Viewing 4 of 15 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples In inland Australia if you want to know where there is water, just watch the bronzewings flying to and fro both at dawn and dusk. They fly fast and low, just over the shrub/tree canopy at speeds around 80 kph - in areas where water is scarce they converge from considerable distances and gather at safe vantage points to assess the situation (predator wise) before running to the water's edge to drink - they drink by sucking, several long draughts and they are off again, so spending a minimum time out in the open. The purples and browns of Common Bronzewings are what I call crepuscular colours, evolved to blend in with the shadows of dawn and dusk and also the shadows under the shrubs where they feed for much of the day. They spend very little time in trees, mainly to roost or nest or occasionally to look out for predators. They are very shy birds.

Common Bronzewings are widespread throughout most of Australia, except Cape York and in rainforest or some other densely forested coastal areas. The expansion of agriculture has proved beneficial and in many areas they feed on spilt grain or weed seeds in fallow paddocks.


Photo: 034001

034001 ... Common Bronzewing, adult male.

Photo: 034002

034002

Photo: 034005

034005 ... Immature.

Photo: 034201

034201 ... Probably an old male - they are rarely this colourful.


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