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Article and video by Stephanie Reif, conservation partnerships officer, Sunshine Coast Council

When the fruit is ripe, it’s time to eat it...before someone else does!

This video of a brown cuckoo dove was filmed on a Land for Wildlife property in Mapleton on the Blackall Range. It is quickly devouring the fruit of a red-fruited palm lily (Cordyline rubra) before another cuckoo dove does!

Brown cuckoo doves are originally from the Philippines and are found throughout South-East Asia and into Australia along the eastern coast. While their name describes their brown plumage it doesn’t do justice to the many shades of brown in their feathers.

The most distinctive feature of the brown cuckoo dove is its long tail, which it uses for balance to get to fruit, as you can see in this footage. They are known for hanging upside down while feeding, which involves some seriously good swallowing!

While they are mostly found in the canopy of rainforest and wet sclerophyll forests, they occasionally take grit from the ground. They also utilise patches of weedy vegetation, including privet and lantana, and are often seen feeding from weedy wild tobacco trees.