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A photo of a Key West Quail-Dove (Geotrygon chrysia)
Key West Quail-Dove

Key West Quail-Dove

Geotrygon chrysia

The Key West quail-dove, Geotrygon chrysia, is a medium-sized bird from the Columbidae family, with a length ranging from 27 to 31 centimeters. It boasts a dark rust-colored back and wings, and a striking white facial stripe. The crown, nape, and back of the neck shimmer with amethyst or bronze green iridescence, while the mantle, back, rump, and inner wing coverts display hints of purplish red iridescence.

Identification Tips

To identify the Key West quail-dove, look for its dark rust-colored back and wings, and the distinctive white facial stripe. The iridescent hues on its upper body parts are also key characteristics that help distinguish it from other species. Its call, reminiscent of the white-tipped dove, may also aid in identification.

Habitat

This species inhabits tropical and subtropical dry forests, shrublands, and lowland moist forests, where it can be seen foraging on the ground.

Distribution

The Key West quail-dove is native to the Bahamas and the Greater Antilles, with the notable exception of Jamaica. Although its name suggests a presence in the Florida Keys and southern mainland Florida, it no longer breeds there but may appear as a vagrant.

Behaviour

These birds are ground foragers, typically seen searching for food among the leaf litter. They are known to consume a variety of seeds, berries, and fallen fruit, and occasionally include snails in their diet.

Diet and Feeding

The Key West quail-dove has a diet that primarily consists of seeds, berries, and fallen fruit. It has a particular fondness for poisonwood fruit. Snails also feature in its diet, providing a source of protein.

Breeding

While the Key West quail-dove no longer breeds in Florida, it does lay two buff-colored eggs on a flimsy platform constructed within a shrub or occasionally on the ground. The species is occasionally recorded in the Keys and southern Florida as a vagrant.

Conservation status

The Key West quail-dove is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, indicating that it does not face an immediate threat of extinction in the wild.

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