Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Near Threatened

Black Cuckoo-dove (Turacoena modesta)


French: Phasianelle modeste German: Timortaube Spanish: Paloma de Timor
Other common names: Slaty Cuckoo-dove, Black Dove, Timor Black Pigeon

Columba modesta


, 1835,



Closely related to T. manadensis. Monotypic.


Timor and Wetar; recently recorded on Roti (Tapuafu Peninsula)#R and Atauro#R.

Descriptive notes

38·5 cm. Dark bluish slate throughout, paler on head and underparts and almost black on wings and tail; crown, nape, neck, breast and upper mantle feathers fringed... read more


Advertising call a long series of notes that gradually accelerate, starting with long purrs that... read more


Primary and tall secondary monsoon forest from lowlands up to 1100 m; as well as in woodland and... read more

Food and feeding

Largely frugivorous. Forages at medium height in bushes and small trees, sometimes in open situations; seen alone or in twos. 


No information available.


No information available.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. The total population is estimated at 1500–7000 mature individuals. Uncommon to rare in Timor, where the... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Black Cuckoo-dove (Turacoena modesta). 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 3 April 2020).