Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Henderson Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus insularis)


French: Ptilope de Henderson German: Silberwangen-Fruchttaube Spanish: Tilopo de la Henderson
Other common names: Scarlet-capped Fruit-dove, Henderson Island Fruit-dove

Ptilopus insularis


, 1908,

Henderson Island, Pitcairn Group


Belongs to the large species-group centred on P. purpuratus (which see), forming part of the subgroup centred on that same species. Previously thought to be most closely related to †P. mercierii. In past was considered a race of P. purpuratus#R. Monotypic.


Henderson I (mostly interior of island), in Pitcairn Group.

Descriptive notes

20–25 cm; 95–105 g. Forehead and crown bright purplish crimson, narrowly bordered with yellow; throat white; nape, sides of head, neck and breast silvery grey... read more


Advertising call is a fairly simple cooing phrase of 10–15 notes on an even pitch that gradually... read more


Found in forest with dense understorey, which covers much of the island, notably the... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly frugivorous; stomach contents of three specimens included fruit pulp and intact fruit of Nesoluma and Ixora. The... read more


During visits in Mar and Apr, both moulting adults and juveniles were collected; specimens collected in May had moderately enlarged gonads... read more


Rarely travels far; appears to be territorial, and reported to respond to playback of calls; often... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Reported to be common and very tame; population estimated to number c. 3400 birds in 1990 and c. 3600 birds in 1992, using different techniques. Subsequent... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Henderson Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus insularis). 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 22 November 2019).