Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Vulnerable

Marquesas Ground-dove (Alopecoenas rubescens)


Taxonomy

French: Gallicolombe des Marquises German: Marquesastaube Spanish: Paloma perdiz de las Marquesas
Other common names: Grey-hooded Ground-dove
Taxonomy:

Columba rubescens

Vieillot

, 1818,

Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

.

A very distinct form of uncertain affinities; appears to be intermediate between A. beccarii and members of the A. jobiensis group, and may represent early colonization of Marquesas by a form ancestral to both. Monotypic.

Distribution:

Hatutu and Fatu Huku, in Marquesas Is. First described from Nuku Hiva, and archaeological remains indicate probable former occurrence throughout the archipelago (confirmed from Hivaoa, Tahuata and Uahuka).

Descriptive notes

20 cm. Body posture typically hunched, with wings somewhat drooped. Head, neck, throat and breast ash grey (degree of darkness variable); back and sides of hindneck, lesser... read more

Voice

Poorly documented. Males are reported to utter a raspy, snarling note, and females are known to... read more

Habitat

On Hututu it can be found throughout the island, from shore to summit, including cliffs; it forages... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. Reported to feed on the seeds of Pisonia (Nyctaginaceae); also reported feeding on ants. Feeds almost entirely on... read more

Breeding

No information from the wild. In captivity: birds built a typical pigeon nest of twigs; 2 white eggs; incubation 13–15 days.

Movements

Reportedly flies weakly and reluctantly. Captive birds described as being very like rails or... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Previously listed as Endangered. Restricted to two small uninhabited islands, where it would be extremely vulnerable to introduction of rats, cats or other... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Christie, D.A., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2017). Marquesas Ground-dove (Alopecoenas rubescens). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/54272 on 24 October 2017).