One of the more spectacular species of fruit-dove in Australia, the Wompoo Fruit-Dove has largely-green upper parts, while its breast is plum-purple, and the belly and underwings are canary yellow. Despite this bright coloration, Wompoo Fruit-Doves are often overlooked as they forage on fruit among the leaves high in the canopy of tropical and subtropical rainforests. Often the first sign that they are there is the sound of fruit falling onto the forest floor below. Another tell-tale sign is their call, a distinctive ‘wompoo’, which gives the bird its name.
The Wompoo Fruit-Dove is identified by its large size, rich purple throat, chest and upper belly, and yellow lower belly. It has mostly green underparts, with a paler grey head and a conspicuous yellow wing-bar. It is perhaps the most beautiful of all the doves found in Australia, and both sexes are similar in plumage. Birds from the north are smaller than those in the south. Young Wompoos are duller and greener than the adults.
Australia has three discrete Wompoo Fruit-Dove populations along the east coast: from central eastern New South Wales to central eastern Queensland; north-eastern Queensland; and northern Cape York Peninsula. This species also occurs in New Guinea. The Wompoo Fruit-Dove is more common and abundant in the northern parts of its range.
The most favoured habitat of the Wompoo Fruit-Dove is rainforest, and birds are rarely seen in other areas.
Wompoo Fruit-Dove do not travel large distances but move around in small, localised areas in search of fruit-bearing trees.
Wompoo Fruit-Doves feed on a variety of rainforest fruits. The fruits are eaten whole and may be quite large in size. The birds are hard to see when feeding, and are best located by their calls or the sound of falling fruit. They may form large feeding flocks where food is plentiful, and the birds acrobatically pluck the fruit from trees and vines high up in the canopy area.
In the north of the Wompoo Fruit-Dove’s range the breeding season may vary in response to suitable weather conditions. Both sexes share the construction of the twig nest, which may be placed quite low down in a tree. A white egg is laid, and both sexes share the incubation and care of the chick. Only one chick is raised in a season, but birds may breed a second time if the first attempt fails.