Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Grey-fronted Dove (Leptotila rufaxilla)


French: Colombe à front gris German: Rotachseltaube Spanish: Paloma montaraz frentiblanca

Columba Rufaxilla

Richard and Bernard

, 1792,



Has been considered conspecific with L. plumbeiceps, L. battyi, L. wellsi and especially L. pallida. Genetic data suggest race dubusi closer to L. cassinii than to nominate rufaxilla#R. Race hypochroos proposed for birds of Suriname. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. r. pallidipectus Chapman, 1915 – E Colombia (S to R Guaviare) and probably W Venezuela.
  • L. r. dubusi Bonaparte, 1855 – SE Colombia to CS Venezuela (base of Mt Duida) and S to E Ecuador and (probably this race) E Peru; limits of range in Brazil unknown.
  • L. r. rufaxilla (Richard & Bernard, 1792) – lower Orinoco Valley in E Venezuela, the Guianas and N Brazil, S to R Madeira and E to N Maranhão.
  • L. r. hellmayri Chapman, 1915 – NE Venezuela (Paria Peninsula) and Trinidad.
  • L. r. bahiae Berlepsch, 1885 – C Brazil, from S Mato Grosso to Bahia.
  • L. r. reichenbachii Pelzeln, 1870 – C & S Brazil (from Mato Grosso and Espírito Santo) S to Paraguay, NE Argentina (Misiones) and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    28 cm; 115–183 g. Forehead greyish to bluish white becoming bluish grey on crown; nape and hindneck greyish purple with some iridescence; throat and feathers bordering... read more


    Song is a single mournful monotonous note 'wooOOOoo' which fades in and out. Length is... read more


    Occupies forest, particularly humid forest, avoiding arid areas; sometimes encountered on forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little known. Takes seeds and probably insects from forest floor; once observed feeding on Costus fruit. Recorded eating... read more


    On Trinidad, breeds in all months, except Sept–Oct; nest recorded in Jan in Surinam; most nests late Nov to mid-Feb in French Guiana... read more


    No information. Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Few details available, but species reckoned to be common throughout much of its sizeable range, e.g. in Colombia; fairly common in Iguazú... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Bonan, A. & Boesman, P. (2020). Grey-fronted Dove (Leptotila rufaxilla). 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 February 2020).