Short-billed Pigeons

Short-billed Pigeon
(Columbidae - Please see also Doves)

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The Short-billed Pigeon, Patagioenas nigrirostris (see Johnson et al., 2001), is a largish pigeon which breeds from southern Mexico south to northwestern Colombia.

This species is replaced at higher altitudes by the very similar Ruddy Pigeon, Patagioenas subvinacea.

Breeding / Nesting:

It is found in lowland forest canopy and semi-open woodland, and builds a rudimentary platform nest out of twigs 5-30 m high in a tree or amongst vines. It lays one white egg.


The Short-billed Pigeon is 26.5 cm long and weighs 150 g. It is unpatterned and mainly wine-purple in color, becoming browner on the belly and more olive-brown on the back. The tail and primary flight feathers are blackish, the bill is black, and the legs and eyes are purple-red.

The female is slightly duller and browner than the male, and the juvenile bird has a greyish brown head, neck and breast, with cinnamon scaling on the head and upperparts.

Call / Vocalization:

Short-billed Pigeon has a loud cu-COO k’-COO call.

Diet / Feeding:

It is normally sighted in pairs as it forages in the tree tops for mistletoe, fruits and berries, but may also be seen on tracks and roadsides seeking grit or small invertebrates.

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