Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Island Imperial-pigeon (Ducula pistrinaria)


French: Carpophage meunier German: Nelkenfruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula insular

Ducula pistrinaria


, 1857,

St George, Solomon Islands


Original description of species often dated 1855, but that year refers to advance pages/proofs#R. Closely related to D. rosacea, D. whartoni and D. pickeringii. Geographical variation appears to be clinal to some extent, but insufficiently known; further study required. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. p. rhodinolaema (P. L. Sclater, 1877) – islands off N coast of New Guinea E to Umboi, also Admiralty Is, St Matthias Group (Mussau and Emira) and New Hanover.
  • D. p. vanwyckii (Cassin, 1862) – New Britain and Witu Is, and New Ireland (Bismarck Archipelago).
  • D. p. postrema E. J. O. Hartert, 1926 – D’Entrecasteaux Is (Amphlett Group), Woodlark Group (Egum Atoll, Alcester I) and Louisiade Archipelago (Deboyne Is, Misima, Bramble Haven).
  • D. p. pistrinaria Bonaparte, 1857 – Lihir Is, Feni Group and Green Is SE through Solomon Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    38–44 cm; 470–500 g. A large, mostly grey forest pigeon; throat and face mauve-pink shading to greyish pink on breast and to pale silvery grey on flanks and... read more


    Advertising call is a distinctive, high-pitched ‘ahu ahu ahu ahu ahu’, falling in pitch... read more


    Primary and well developed secondary forests; will visit fruiting trees in partially cleared areas... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous; no precise details on diet. Feeds in the canopy, often in large, isolated fruiting trees; reported to feed in same trees as... read more


    Recorded Jul–Sept on Bougainville; reported to occur all year round on Nissan, with definite records in Jun and Aug. Nest is... read more


    Probably at least partly nomadic, often making long flights over the sea. In New Britain said to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Few details available, but species is reported to be locally common to abundant in many areas, particularly on smaller islands.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W. & Horblit, H.M. (2020). Island Imperial-pigeon (Ducula pistrinaria). 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 January 2020).