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Species Guide

Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon

Petrophassa rufipennis

The Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon, a denizen of the rocky escarpments, presents itself in a dark sooty brown plumage. Most striking is the bright chestnut patch adorning its wing, a feature that reveals itself during flight, though it remains concealed when the bird is at rest.

Identification Tips

This pigeon can be identified by its wingspan, which ranges from 138 to 155 mm, and its bill, measuring between 11.0 and 14.5 mm. The bird's weight varies from 130 to 178 grams. It has black lores and is adorned with pale spots on the head and neck. The chin and throat exhibit a whitish hue. Notably, fine grey lines trace around the eye, creating a distinctive facial pattern.


The Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon is intimately associated with tropical sandstone escarpments, a habitat that provides the necessities for its survival.


This species is endemic to western Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia, where it is found exclusively on rocky escarpments.


In the wild, these pigeons are typically encountered in pairs or small groups. They are most often seen when startled, bursting forth from a rocky ledge with loud, clapping wing-beats, sometimes ascending directly from the depths of a gorge.

Song & calls

Unfortunately, the guide does not provide information on the song and calls of the Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon.


The guide does not provide information on the breeding habits of the Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon.

Similar Species

The Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon shares its jizz—a term used to describe the general impression or appearance of a bird—and habitat with the White-quilled Rock Pigeon, though it is geographically restricted to the sandstone country of Arnhem Land and Kakadu.

Diet and Feeding

The guide does not provide information on the diet and feeding habits of the Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon.

Conservation status

The Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon is listed as Near Threatened in the Northern Territory, while globally, it is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

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Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeons on Birda


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