Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Makatea Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus chalcurus)


French: Ptilope de Makatéa German: Makateafruchttaube Spanish: Tilopo de la Makatea

Ptilonopus [sic] chalcurus

G. R. Gray

, 1860,

“Cook or Hervey Islands”; error = Makatea, Tuamotu


Belongs to the large species-group centred on P. purpuratus (which see), forming part of the subgroup centred on that same species. Has often been considered a race of P. coralensis or P. purpuratus. Again recently treated as a race of P. coralensis#R, but differs in its fuller, darker cap (reddish-purple vs lilac-lavender, and extending from forehead to hindcrown vs from above greyish forehead to just beyond mid-crown, with no trace of slight yellowish posterior margin) (3); greener grey rest of head, neck and breast (1); green upperparts without obvious darker spots vs somewhat more olive-green upperparts with some darker spots (individually variable, but readily visible in most birds) (1); apparently different song (n=1 for recording), consisting of strophe involving series of slowly accelerating notes vs strophe of similar-pitched notes that form two groups of three notes followed by four or five notes on slightly alternating pitches (at least 2); much more arboreal behaviour, coralensis commonly using terrestrial substrates and indeed present on some atolls with only bushes and very low trees#R (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Makatea (Tuamotu Archipelago).

Descriptive notes

20–23 cm. Like P. coralensis, has a relatively slender form for the genus. Lores, forehead and crown purple, with no trace of yellow posterior border seen in... read more


Presumed advertising call is a fairly simple cooing phrase of 7–8 notes on an even pitch that... read more


Found throughout wooded areas of the uplifted coral island of Makatea; even occurs in villages.

Food and feeding

Little information; reported to eat insects, seeds, and the fruits of Cananga odorata and Ficus prolixa.


Birds have been found in breeding condition in Aug.


No information.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Reported to be common in all wooded and forest areas, including near villages. The total population was estimated at fewer than 1000 birds in 1993. Broad... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Makatea Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus chalcurus). 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 11 December 2019).