Spinifex Pigeon (Geophaps plumifera)

The Spinifex Pigeon (Geophaps plumifera) is distinguished from other crested pidgeon by its rusty/bluff coloured plumage, smaller size (a medium to small plump bird) with a tall upright crest and black and buff crescentric bars on the upper parts of the body and wings. They have a conspicuous red patch across the eyes.

Common Name
Spinifex Pigeon, Red Spinifex, Plumed Pigeon.

Where Found
Their habitat is usually in spinifex, arid and semi-arid desert habitats, rocky ranges, gorges, hilly sandy ridge regions. They are never far from water, from natural and man-made water sources such as stock drinking troughs. They are found mainly in Central Australia, the arid northern parts of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and outback Queensland regions. They are often seen in habitats containing hummock forming grasses that are referred to as ‘spinifex grasses’.

This ground feeding pigeon can be seen running nimbly around and if flushed they fly off with their wings making loud whirrs. They have soft, high-pitched ‘coos’, ‘cooloo-coo’ and even a deep guttural ‘coo-r-r-r’.

Images © Greg Sully

Images © Ausemade PL


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Columbiformes
  • Family: Columbidae
  • Genus: Geophaps
  • Species: G. plumifera
  • Binomial name: Geophaps plumifera

Related topics: Spinifex (Triodia); Spinifex Hopping Mouse (Notomys alexis)