Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Marquesas Ground-dove (Alopecoenas rubescens)


French: Gallicolombe des Marquises German: Marquesastaube Spanish: Paloma perdiz de las Marquesas
Other common names: Grey-hooded Ground-dove

Columba rubescens


, 1818,

Nuku Hiva, Marquesas


A very distinct form of uncertain affinities; appears to be intermediate between A. beccarii and members of the A. jobiensis group, and may represent early colonization of Marquesas by a form ancestral to both. Monotypic.


Hatutu and Fatu Huku, in Marquesas Is. First described from Nuku Hiva, and archaeological remains indicate probable former occurrence throughout the archipelago (confirmed from Hivaoa, Tahuata and Uahuka).

Descriptive notes

20 cm. Body posture typically hunched, with wings somewhat drooped. Head, neck, throat and breast ash grey (degree of darkness variable); back and sides of hindneck, lesser... read more


Poorly documented. Males are reported to utter a raspy, snarling note, and females are known to... read more


On Hututu it can be found throughout the island, from shore to summit, including cliffs; it forages... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. Reported to feed on the seeds of Pisonia (Nyctaginaceae); also reported feeding on ants. Feeds almost entirely on... read more


No information from the wild. In captivity: birds built a typical pigeon nest of twigs; 2 white eggs; incubation 13–15 days.


Reportedly flies weakly and reluctantly. Captive birds described as being very like rails or... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted to two small uninhabited islands, where it would be extremely vulnerable to introduction of rats, cats or other predators; the extermination of this... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Christie, D.A., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Marquesas Ground-dove (Alopecoenas rubescens). 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 21 January 2020).