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Species Guide
A photo of a Chiriqui Quail-Dove (Zentrygon chiriquensis)
Chiriqui Quail-Dove

Chiriqui Quail-Dove

Zentrygon chiriquensis

The Chiriqui quail-dove, also known as the rufous-breasted quail-dove, is a modestly sized bird with a length ranging from 27 to 31 cm for males and 26 to 32 cm for females, and a weight between 295 and 308 grams. It exhibits a slate gray crown, buffy face with distinctive black markings, and brownish orange eyes encircled by bare red skin. The plumage transitions from chestnut on the shoulders to a greenish gloss on the lower back, while the underparts display a gradation from buffy white to cinnamon buff.

Identification Tips

To identify this species, look for the black malar stripe and thin black line through the eye, as well as the color gradient on the underparts. The male's breast is reddish, fading to lighter cinnamon on the belly, with darker cinnamon flanks. Females are similar but tend to have a darker breast. Juveniles can be recognized by their brown crown, upperparts, and barred underparts.


The Chiriqui quail-dove is found in the understory of the drier regions of the Talamancan montane forests. It prefers elevations from 600 to 1,700 meters on the Caribbean side and 1,000 to 2,500 meters on the Pacific side, occasionally venturing up to 3,100 meters.


This species is a resident bird from the Cordillera de Guanacaste in northern Costa Rica to the Chiriquí and Veraguas Provinces in western Panama.


The Chiriqui quail-dove is typically seen foraging on the ground, either alone or in pairs. It is most active in the early morning, often along roads and trails, and tends to feed within cover.

Song & calls

The song of the Chiriqui quail-dove is a single, monotonous 'wooOoh' note that swells in amplitude. During the breeding season, it sings this note incessantly from a perch.


The nesting season for this species includes August and September, although the full extent is not well documented. The nest is a shallow cup made of twigs and leaves, situated on a tree branch, and typically contains two eggs.

Diet and Feeding

Its diet consists of seeds, fallen fruit, and small invertebrates. The Chiriqui quail-dove usually feeds under the cover of vegetation but may be observed in more open areas during its early morning foraging.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Chiriqui quail-dove as Least Concern. Despite this, the population is believed to be in decline, and there is a need for further research to establish its true status and to understand its biology and ecology more comprehensively.

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Chiriqui Quail-Doves on Birda

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Chris Down
09 Dec 2023 - 6:38pm
Costa Rica

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