The Brown Cuckoo-Dove is a brown and orange pigeon looking similar to a Cuckoo. They live along the eastern coast of Australia from the northern tip to almost the bottom of NSW but are rare in most of that strip because the rainforest is replaced by houses.
Macropygia amboinensis is the formal name for the Brown Cuckoo-Dove. They are also know as the Bronze Cuckoo-dove and the
Did-you-walk is reported as a rough interpretation of one of their calls. Another call is reported as a
hoarse croarr. I have not heard either call.
The adult male has a shiny almost pink chest. The female has brown edges to the feathers for camouflage. juvenile birds look like the female. Adults have a red edge to their eyes while juveniles have dark eyes. you are unlikely to catch then out in the bright sunlight where you can see the difference between the eyes.
They eat fruit and things in rainforests and semi rainforest. They get protein, vitamins, and essential fatty acids from eating seeds. To help grind up and digest hard seeds, they swallow
grit. Grit is a mix of very small sharp stones. Humans can grind up seeds using our large back teeth. We eat seeds as a regular part of our diet and chew the seeds until they are a fine paste. Birds do not have back teeth or any teeth. Grit provides a similar grinding surface to our teeth.
The grit sticks in the ventriculus or gizzard. The grit stays there for years. Large parrots strip the touch outer layer from seeds and do not need grit. Doves and pigeons need a tiny bit.
The birds also come down to the ground to feed when they feel safe and when seeds or fruit fall to the ground. Cats are a real threat near forests. Birds do not want to go down to the ground where cats can pounce but forests do not always provide a continuous supply of fruit up in the trees and birds sometimes have to supplement their food with fruit and seed fallen from a previous crop. You see ground feeding during a drought, after bushfire, and when a storm breaks the fruit off the trees.
The Brown Cuckoo-Dove are noisy and slow. There are not many forests dense enough to provide them with protection. They produce only one egg per year. While they are not on any endangered species list, we do need to maintain our current national parks to protect this and a lot of other species. If you live in an area where these birds survive, you can help them by planting native trees that produce fruit and planting a blend of trees to provide fruit all year round.