Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Brown-capped Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps longirostris)


French: Colombine du Pacifique German: Braunkappen-Glanztaube Spanish: Palomita esmeralda cabeciparda
Other common names: Pacific Emerald Dove

Chalcophaps longirostris


, 1848,

Port Essington, Northern Territory


Closely related to C. indica and C. stephani, and hitherto considered conspecific with former, but differs in forehead and supercilium buffy-maroon vs white (3); crown to hindneck poorly defined slaty grey vs sharply defined pale grey (2); white shoulder patches clearly much larger (2); and rusty-rufous in primaries much more pronounced (ns[2]), such that an alternative name for the species might be “Rusty-winged Emerald Dove”. Race rogersi previously listed as “chrysochlora”, but this name apparently based on several different forms of Chalcophaps and lectotypification excludes its application to Australasian populations#R. Proposed race melvillensis (Melville I, off N Australia) is on average a little paler than mainland longirostris, but differences considered too slight to merit taxonomic recognition. May include C. norfolciensis, a name long used for Columba leucomela, based only on a dubious description; an 18th-century watercolour “discovered” in 1953 showed, however, that this name more probably applied to another bird that occurred on Norfolk I at that time, possibly the present species; the name is almost certainly unidentifiable, and has now been formally suppressed#R#R#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. l. timorensis Bonaparte, 1856 – E Lesser Sundas (from Wetar, Timor and Roti) E to S & SE Moluccas (Banda Is, Tayandu Is, Kai Is) and Tanimbar Is.
  • C. l. rogersi Mathews, 1912 – coastal New Guinea (from Astrolabe Bay in N and Hall Sound in S) E to Trobriand Is, D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago and Louisiade Archipelago, then on to E Australia (S to Victoria); also Lord Howe I and Norfolk I, where perhaps introduced.
  • C. l. longirostris Gould, 1848 – N Australia in N Western Australia (Kimberley region) and N Northern Territory.
  • C. l. sandwichensis E. P. Ramsay, 1878 – Santa Cruz Is, Banks Is, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–27 cm; 140–192 g (nominate), 120–172 g (rogersi), 100–128 g (sandwichensis); wingspan 43–46 cm. Male has grey-maroon head and underparts, mantle,... read more


    Differs from C. indica in that songs generally comprise longer series of more closely... read more


    Inhabits mainly edges of a wide diversity of forest types and adjacent habitats, including orchards... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet seeds and fruits (e.g. Arecaceae, Cyperaceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Ebenaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae, Meliaceae, Mimosaceae,... read more


    Breeds throughout year, but season differs regionally: in N Australia nests in late dry season and early wet season, and in SE Australia... read more


    Apparently sedentary or locally nomadic in most parts of its range, e.g. in Northern Territory (... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Adapts readily to secondary forest and edges, and is widespread and common (though inconspicuous) in many areas. Only density estimate available is... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Brown-capped Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps longirostris). 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 28 January 2020).