Rare sighting an exciting find

Upper-frontal view of superb fruit-dove, taken at the Baldwin Swamp along the Bicycle Track, using an Olympus E-M1 Mk 11 camera with an Olympus 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO lens.

Another of Bundaberg’s striking fruit-eating doves, is the small, colourful pigeon of the tree canopy, superb fruit-dove that is seldom seen in Bundaberg.

For bird watcher Leo Vermeulen, in all his years of birding in Australia these were his first photos and up to now his only sighting of the superb fruit-dove.

The local U3A birding-group saw the superb fruit-dove on 24 August 2020 at Baldwin Swamp, along the bicycle track east of Steindl Street, feeding on the seeds off a palm tree.

According to their group leader they were very fortunate to see it as there had been no sightings reported of the presence of superb fruit-doves at the Baldwin Swamp in the past.

Could it be because as Birdlife Australia (www.birdlife.org.au) highlights, when superb fruit-doves feed they often actively crawl over and through the foliage in the canopy of the rainforest.

Although it is surprising as they are brightly coloured with a spectacular mix of purple, burnt orange, green and blue-grey, and sprinkled with spots.

As could be seen from the 18 December Birds of Bundaberg, the superb fruit-dove is similar in size and from the ground can often difficult to distinguish from the rose-crowned fruit-dove.

However, as Birdlife Australia shares, the male super fruit-dove is much more striking and like the male, the female has white underparts partly barred at the sides with green, in contrast to the apricot-yellow underparts of both sexes of the rose-crowned fruit-dove.

For more information visit birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/superb-fruit-dove.