Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Galapagos Dove (Zenaida galapagoensis)


French: Tourterelle des Galapagos German: Galapagostaube Spanish: Zenaida de Galápagos

Zenaida Galapagoensis


, 1839,

Galapagos Archipelago


Sometimes separated in monospecific genus Nesopelia, and has very different calls and displays from all other Zenaida; has proportionally shorter tail, larger legs and feet, and longer bill than Z. auriculata and Z. macroura, but Z. aurita appears to be intermediate between present species and other members of genus in the above characters and in colour patterns; genetic evidence confirms present species is comfortably nested within Zenaida#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • Z. g. exsul (Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1899) – Culpepper (Darwin) and Wenman (Wolf) in N Galapagos.
  • Z. g. galapagoensis Gould, 1841 – major islands of Galapagos (except Culpepper and Wenman).
  • Descriptive notes

    18–23 cm; 67–92 g. Head and neck dark reddish brown; pinkish brown on breast lightening to buffish on the belly; undertail-coverts pale grey; orbital skin cobalt-... read more


    Soft, deep “bob-bob-bob-rurururr-bububurr”, a growling “bororororororrr” or “wuk ... r-r-r-r-r-ruu... read more


    Dry, rocky, arid and semi-arid lowlands with scattered trees, bushes and Opuntia cacti. read more

    Food and feeding

    Considered to be principally a seed predator, rather than a disperser. During wet season, late Jan to mid-Feb, feeds on caterpillars and... read more


    Can occur Jan–Nov, but season varies locally from island to island, though perhaps mainly Mar–Jun, especially Mar–Apr;... read more


    Not well known, but birds seen flying between islands and a recent molecular study has confirmed... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Appears to be relatively secure away from settled areas and on islands free of predators. The species is speculated to serve as a reservoir/vector... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Galapagos Dove (Zenaida galapagoensis). 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 15 December 2019).