Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Black-billed Cuckoo-dove (Macropygia nigrirostris)


French: Phasianelle barrée German: Kastanientaube Spanish: Tórtola cuco piquinegra
Other common names: Bar-tailed Cuckoo-dove

Macropygia nigrirostris


, 1876,

Arfak and Warbusi


Closely related to M. ruficeps and M. mackinlayi. Birds of Bismarck Archipelago sometimes separated as race major. Monotypic.


New Guinea, offshore islands of Yapen and Karkar, larger islands of Bismarck Archipelago and Lihir Is, and D’Entrecasteaux Is (Goodenough, Fergusson).

Descriptive notes

29–30 cm; 66–104 g. Rich chestnut-red throughout, darker on wings, paler below; outer primaries and secondaries brownish black edged rufous; uppertail-coverts... read more


A rapid descending series of around 12 muted 'woi' or 'koik' notes, delivered at... read more


Occurs from sea-level up to 2600 m in New Guinea, 300–900 m on Karkar I. In lowlands and... read more

Food and feeding

Very limited information. Takes fruits and seeds in trees, occasionally coming to the ground to drink during dry weather. Stomachs have... read more


Few data on seasonality, but a nest­ling and a juvenile obtained in Oct. Two ground nests were found on a steep hill near Wau; some... read more


Apparently resident; vagrant to Watom I (off NE New Britain), where M. mackinlayi is the... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Very few data available, but species seems to be fairly common in much of mainland New Guinea, especially in hills and mountains, though rare on... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W. & Horblit, H.M. (2020). Black-billed Cuckoo-dove (Macropygia nigrirostris). 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 on 21 January 2020).