Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Mountain Imperial-pigeon (Ducula badia)


French: Carpophage à manteau brun German: Fahlbauch-Fruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula dorsicastaña

Columba badia


, 1822,

Bengkulu, west Sumatra


Hitherto considered conspecific with D. cuprea but differs on account of pale vs dark iris (3); greyer underparts (2); purplish mantle (1); slightly longer wing and slightly shorter bill, effect size –0·91 for wing (1), 0·6 for bill (1); broader terminal tailband of cuprea (mean 45·5 vs 38·5 mm, effect size –1·7, ns[1]). Probably closely related to D. lacernulata and D. cineracea. Proposed races carolinae (E Naga Hills, in NE India) and obscurata (SE Thailand) are synonymized with griseicapilla, and capistrata (W Java) with nominate#R. Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. b. insignis Hodgson, 1836 – C Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan E to Meghalaya (Khasia Hills) and R Brahmaputra.
  • D. b. griseicapilla Walden, 1875 – NE India (Nagaland, Manipur), Myanmar (S to N Tennasserim) and Thailand E to SC China (SW Yunnan, Hainan), and S to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • D. b. badia (Raffles, 1822) – S Tenasserim and Mergui Archipelago S through Malay Peninsula to Sumatra, Borneo and W Java.
  • Descriptive notes

    43–51 cm; 316 g (badia), 580–665 g (griseicapilla). Head, neck and underparts pink, brightest on hindneck and more or less suffused with grey... read more


    Most common vocalization is a repeated low-pitched rhythmic sequence of three resonant hoots “hu-... read more


    Mature primary and secondary evergreen and deciduous forests from foothills (generally above 400 m... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous, feeding on a variety of fruits and berries, especially figs (e.g. Ficus crassiramea and F. cucurbitina) and... read more


    Season apparently extended; for race insignis reported to be Mar–Aug; on Sumatra and Borneo, in Jan–Apr and Jun, and... read more


    Generally appears to be resident. In India, seasonally undertakes local and altitudinal movements... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Information from across its range is rather limited but species reported to be the commonest large pigeon of foothill and montane... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Mountain Imperial-pigeon (Ducula badia). 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).