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Red-billed Pigeon

Patagioenas flavirostris

The Red-billed Pigeon, Patagioenas flavirostris, is a robust bird, cloaked in slate-gray plumage. Its head and neck shimmer with a maroon hue, sometimes perceived as purple, while the wing coverts share this rich coloration. The species is characterized by pale red eyes encircled by an orange ring and a distinctive red bill tipped with yellow. Unlike its relatives, this pigeon lacks the iridescent collar plumage, setting it apart visually. A blue-gray underbelly and tail coverts, along with a less brown back, provide further distinction from similar species.

Identification Tips

Adults are identified by their dark gray bodies, maroon to purple head and neck, and the red bill with a yellow tip. Females may appear slightly duller than males, while juveniles present a more subdued color palette with dusky shoulders and a brownish mantle and wings. The species ranges in size from 30 to 37 cm in length, weighing between 230 and 425 grams.

Habitat

The Red-billed Pigeon favors dry forests and is often found along riverside wetlands, thriving in these habitats throughout coastal Mexico and Central America.

Distribution

This pigeon's breeding range spans from southern Texas to Costa Rica. It is prevalent in coastal and lowland areas, particularly in the Rio Grande region. Sightings in Southern Texas are less frequent, and the bird is considered rare during the winter months.

Behaviour

The Red-billed Pigeon is known for its distinctive flight-initiated wing clapping noise. Its presence is often announced by a long, high-pitched call, ascending in tone, starting with a "coooo" and followed by a triplet of "cuk-c'-c'-coo" notes.

Song & Calls

The call of the Red-billed Pigeon is a unique auditory marker, a series of coos that rise in pitch, easily distinguishable in the bird's natural habitat.

Similar Species

This pigeon can be differentiated from the Ruddy Pigeon and Short-billed Pigeon by its less brown back and the absence of iridescent collar plumage.

Conservation status

The Red-billed Pigeon is currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, indicating a stable population without immediate threats to its survival.

Red-billed Pigeon Sounds


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Red-billed Pigeons on Birda

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