Birds of the Bible – Coat of Many Colors

Many-colored Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus perousii) ©WikiC

Many-colored Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus perousii) ©WikiC

While working on the Columbidae – Pigeons, Doves Family, I was enjoying the Fruit Doves and their beautiful colors. Of course the verse about Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors kept crossing my mind. Then I actually found the Many-colored Fruit Dove.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. (Genesis 37:3 KJV)

The Fruit Doves belong to the Ptilinopus genus. There are 53 Fruit Doves at present (I.O.C. 3.3) They eat fruit mostly and they may help enhance their colours, at least that is one opinion. “These small- to medium-sized doves generally have short, fan-shaped tails, and are remarkable for their colorful and often glossy plumage, as evidenced in the aptly named Orange Fruit Dove, Flame-breasted Fruit Dove, and Pink-headed Fruit Dove. Males and females of many fruit dove species look very different. For example, the female Many-coloured Fruit Dove shares the male’s crimson crown and deep pink undertail feathers, but is otherwise green, whereas the male has a crimson on the upper back and has areas of yellow, olive, cinnamon, and grey.

Wompoo Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Dan at National Aviary

Wompoo Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Dan at National Aviary

This is a large genus, most diverse in and around the island of New Guinea, in the Philippines, and in the biogeographical region of Wallacea. Some species have ranges as far west as the Sunda Islands, others north to Taiwan, south to Australia, and east into Polynesia.

Fruit doves, as their name implies, eat fruit — ficus is especially important — and live in various kinds of forest or woodland. Some species are restricted to primary forest, such as lowland rainforest, montane forest, or monsoon forest, while others prefer secondary forest or disturbed areas. Some species specialize in particular habitats, from lowland coastal forest to the cloud forest or moss forest of high altitudes. Some species of fruit doves are only found in habitats dominated by particular plants, such as mangrove, eucalyptus, or pandanus. Only a few species can commonly be seen around human habitation, these include the Knob-billed Fruit Dove, Makatea Fruit Dove, and Black-naped Fruit Dove, which are known to visit gardens and such.

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Much is still to be learned about fruit doves. Many species are shy and difficult to observe in their natural habitat. For example, there are several species in the Philippines, and for most of them, little or nothing is known of their breeding or nesting behavior.” (Wikipedia with editing)

We have had the privilege of seeing several of the Fruit Doves at the Zoos we have visited. They are so beautiful and colorful. Isn’t the Lord great in His providing them the ability to show off all their “coats of many colors?” I trust you will enjoy looking at the slideshow below and seeing them. These are the ones that I have permission to show. I am putting the whole list of them from the Family pages so that you can view the others.

Rose-crowned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus regina) by Ian

Rose-crowned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus regina) by Ian

Divers colours is only associated with one bird in Scripture and that is with an eagle:

And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: (Ezekiel 17:3 KJV)

“Divers colours” is used 6 times in the King James Version, others translate that phrase as; various colors, beautiful feathers, long, colorful feathers , full of varicolored feathers, of variety,  feathers covered with spots, rich in plumage of many colors, full of plumage of embroidery, having different colors to him, multi-colored plumage, or in full plumage and bright colors.

I think those descriptions can well describe our feather colors  the Creator placed on these Fruit Doves. Doves are mentioned many times in the Bible. See the Birds of the Bible – Dove and Pigeon page.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Columbidae – Pigeons, Doves Family

Birds of the Bible – Dove and Pigeon


P.S. I’ll be adding more of our as I find them.


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Superb Fruit-Dove

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Superb Fruit-Dove  ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 02-20-11

One of the tragedies of severe tropical cyclones is the damage to vegetation, particularly fruiting trees, and the resulting avian refugees, many battered and exhausted, fleeing far and wide in search of food. Since cyclone Yasi, many Superb and Wompoo Fruit-Doves and some Brown Cuckoo-doves have been moving through areas such as Bluewater and Townsville. This happened after cyclone Larry in 2006 when many of these refugees stayed around for months, but they are even more numerous this time round.

Superb Fruit-Doves are among the most spectacularly beautiful of rainforest birds in eastern Australia, but despite their bright colours are usually heard rather than seen. Their distinctive, repeated ‘whoop, whoop’ calls – with a rising inflection delivered at a regular rhythm and easily distinguished from the similar but accelerating ‘whp-whoo’ of the related and equally gorgeous Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove – are a very characteristic sound of northeastern rainforests. Hearing is no guarantee of seeing, however, and these shy birds usually remain invisible in the thick foliage of rainforest trees. So, it is strange to see these wonderful little doves (length of both species to 24cm/9.5in) sitting in full-view on trees in open tropical savanna left leafless by the cyclone, too tired to fly away when approached.

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

The first photo shows a male, the second the less-spectacular but still beautiful female photographed from the verandah of my house a week to ten days after the cyclone when this species was most numerous around here. The females have an indigo skull cap that, being on the back of the head, is often not visible but you can see it clearly in the bird in the third photo, taken in a battered but still fruiting tree at Dungeness where we lunched last Thursday, in a normally but no longer shady park near Lucinda on the coast east of Ingham, after doing the monthly wader survey. That area took quite a battering and the sand spit along which we used to walk to do the survey has largely been flattened and the sand dumped in the mud flat to its west.

The range of the Superb Fruit-Dove in Australia is the east coast from the tip of Cape York to south of Sydney. Its main breeding range is in tropical Queensland north of Prosperine on the Whitsunday Coast and it is relatively rare in New South Wales. It also occurs in New Guinea and eastern Indonesia and many Australian birds migrate to New Guinea in winter. Fruit-eating doves normally range widely in search of food, given the seasonal nature of its availability, so it is to be hoped that this ability serves them well in times such as this.

Superb Fruit-Dove
Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove
Wompoo Fruit-Dove
Brown Cuckoo-Dove

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

I’ve resumed work on the website still using the borrowed mobile modem and have at last finished updating all the next/previous family pointers of the Australian bird family thumbnail pages. This means that you can now view the website in a global context or an Australian one, depending on your focus. The global context – and the New World and Old World subsets – follows the taxonomic organization and sequence of Birdlife International both between and within families while the Australian one follows the organization and sequence of Christidis and Boles, 2008, the generally accepted authorities in Australia.

There are quite a few differences in the recognized families, the sequence of families and the order within families between the 2 schema, so I suggest that you stick to one or the other (at any one time) to avoid confusion. The Australian context is distinguished by green backgrounds for both arrows (to Australian thumbnails and to previous and next families) and for the pages of family thumbnails. I’ve documented differences in family structure on the family pages; have a look at this for a simple example: and this for a particularly divergent example: .

Best wishes,


Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: +61-7 4751 3115
Preferred Email:

Lee’s Addition:

The Fruit-doves is one of the Birds of the Bible. Doves are mentioned over 40 times in Scripture. See also – Birds of the Bible – Doves and Pigeons

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Psalms 55:6 KJV)

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by xeno-canto-David Farrow

Rose-crowned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus regina) by xeno-canto – Vicki Powys

Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. (Psalms 68:13 KJV)

This beautiful Superb Fruit-Dove or Fruit Dove, depending on whose list used, is in the Columbidae Family of the Columbiformes Order. There are 321 members of the family including the Doves, Fruit Doves, Collared Doves, Cuckoo-Doves, Wood Doves, Bronsewings, Ground and Quail Doves, Bleeding Hearts, plus all the different kinds of Pigeons.


The Wompoo Fruit Dove – The Seed distributor

The Wompoo Fruit Dove – The Seed distributor – by a j mithra

Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Ian

Wompoo Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Ian

The Wompoo Fruit Dove is a big rainforest pigeon. A large and dramatically beautiful rainforest pigeon, almost twice the size of other colored fruit-doves, the Wompoo Fruit Dove is identified by its large size, rich purple throat, chest and upper belly,and yellow lower belly.

The most favored habitat of the Wompoo Fruit Dove is rainforest, and birds are rarely seen in other areas. Occurs in, or near rainforest, low elevation moist eucalypt forest and brush box forests.

It is perhaps the most beautiful of all the doves found in Australia….
Did these birds inherit their beauty from dwelling in the rain forest?
The beauty of a believer lies in his heart…
The more we dwell under the Pillar of Clouds, the more we get soaked in the rain of the Holy Spirit…

The more we get wet in the rain of the Holy spirit, the more beautiful we turn..

In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain. (Proverbs 16:13)

Wompoo Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Ian

Wompoo Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Ian

Wompoo Fruit Doves feed on a variety of rainforest fruits. The fruits are eaten whole and may be quite large in size. 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. Despite their small size, they are able to swallow fruits of 5 cm³ volume, which would translate into a diameter of about 2 cm in spherical fruit. The birds are hard to see when feeding, and are best located by their calls or the sound of falling fruit.

This world may not be able to see you or locate you, but, no matter where you are, the fragrance of your fruit filled life will attract the world towards you…

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Mathew 7:20)

Feeds on a diverse range of tree and vine fruits and is locally nomadic following ripening fruit; some of its feed trees rely on species such as this to distribute their seeds…

Figs are preferred in the late dry and wet season (October – March) Fruit of cinnamon trees are preferred whenever available, Arecaceae (palm) fruit in mid-late dry season (August – October) and Annonaceae fruit, such as Ylang-ylanga re preferred whenever available..

The birds do not travel large distances, but move around in small, localized areas in search of fruit-bearing trees. The seeds in the fruit eaten by the Wompoo Fruit Dove are spread a long way in the dove’s droppings so more fruit trees can grow.

We may not be able to travel a long distance to sow the seed of God, but, we can always keep sowing around the place where we dwell..
There is a saying which goes like this,

A missionary’s longest journey is the distance traveled to the next door, to proclaim the good news of Jesus…

Well, ministry starts at home..
Before we reach the others, let us reach the lost in our family….

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. (Luke 15:32)

Have a fruit filled day!

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

Please visit us at: Crosstree

Lee’s Addition:

Wompoo Fruit Dove is part of the Columbidae Family of the Columbiformes Order.

Here are a couple of videos of the Wompoo by two of our videographers.