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A photo of a Scaly-naped Pigeon (Patagioenas squamosa)
Scaly-naped Pigeon

Scaly-naped Pigeon

Patagioenas squamosa

The Scaly-naped Pigeon, also known as the Red-necked Pigeon, is a bird of considerable size, measuring 14 to 16 inches in length. It boasts a predominant slate grey plumage, with a distinctive maroon hue encircling the neck. The nape features a unique scaly appearance, which lends the species its common name. A notable characteristic is the bare skin patch around the bird's red eyes, which exhibits a reddish tint in males and a more yellowish hue in females. The legs and the base of the bill are red, contrasting with the lighter color of the bill's remainder.

Identification Tips

To identify the Scaly-naped Pigeon, look for the large size and grey plumage, along with the maroon neck and scaly nape. The red eye-ring is also a key feature, with color variations between sexes. The red legs and bill base are additional markers to confirm identification.


This pigeon species is typically found in rainforests but can also adapt to drier lowland woodlands. It is known to frequent areas close to human settlements, where it is locally common.


The Scaly-naped Pigeon is distributed across the Caribbean, with its range encompassing the Greater Antilles—excluding Jamaica and the Bahamas—and the Lesser Antilles.


Scaly-naped Pigeons are often seen alone or in small groups. They forage both arboreally and terrestrially, sometimes mingling with other dove species such as the Rock Dove, Eared Dove, and Zenaida Dove. They exhibit a cautious nature and will take flight if they sense danger.


The reproductive habits of the Scaly-naped Pigeon involve laying one to two eggs, with nests predominantly constructed in trees.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Scaly-naped Pigeon primarily consists of fruits and seeds sourced from trees.

Conservation status

The Scaly-naped Pigeon is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. However, its biodiversity is under threat due to hunting in certain Caribbean regions, particularly given its abundance in Puerto Rico. Hurricanes have also contributed to population declines by affecting the vegetation and environment of their habitat.

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