Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Near Threatened

Christmas Imperial-pigeon (Ducula whartoni)


French: Carpophage de Wharton German: Weihnachtsfruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula de la Christmas

Carpophaga whartoni


, 1887,

Christmas Island, Indian Ocean


Closely related to D. rosacea, with which it is sometimes considered conspecific; these two related also to D. pistrinaria and D. pickeringii. Monotypic.


Christmas I, S of Java (Indian Ocean).

Unsuccessfully introduced to Cocos (Keeling) Is during period 1885–1900.

Descriptive notes

42–45 cm; 450–700 g. Head and neck dark purplish grey, with narrow grey-white area immediately above base of bill; bronzy green to purple iridescence on hind­... read more


Commonest call is a series of a few burry overslurred cooing notes “rroow...rroow..rroow”, also... read more


Primary and secondary rain forest on the inland plateau of Christmas I, including areas planted... read more

Food and feeding

Frugivorous; also occasionally takes buds and leaves, including those of the introduced Carica papaya; in addition to Rosaceae (... read more


Reported to nest in loose groups late Aug to Feb. Nest is a flat, scanty platform of twigs, usually in the crown of a canopy tree, but... read more


Sedentary. Undertakes local movements to food and water sources, depending on availability.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened, and previously, Vulnerable. Widespread and common, after having been hunted to near extinction by c. 1940... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Christmas Imperial-pigeon (Ducula whartoni). 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 25 February 2020).