Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Nilgiri Woodpigeon (Columba elphinstonii)


French: Pigeon d’Elphinstone German: Nilgiritaube Spanish: Paloma de los Nilgiris
Other common names: Nilgiri Pigeon

Ptilinopus Elphinstonii


, 1832,

the Ghats of Deccan, India


Closely related to C. pulchricollis and C. torringtoniae. Monotypic.


Western Ghats of SW India, from N Maharashtra to S Kerala and W Tamil Nadu.

Descriptive notes

36–42 cm; 379 g. Head bluish grey merging into darker neck and breast; belly and undertail-coverts admixed with some brown; hindneck of black feathers with white tips... read more


Poorly documented. Advertising call consists of long drawn-out low-pitched hoots combined with... read more


Moist evergreen forests from foothills up to 2000 m; breeding usually takes place at altitudes... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly frugivorous, feeding arboreally on fruits, berries and buds; also descends to the forest floor to take fallen berries and snails.... read more


Season extends Mar–Jul, but mostly Apr–Jun. Nest is the typical pigeon platform of twigs. Clutch is 1 white egg.


Much wandering takes place, with birds following ripening fruit crops.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Small and declining population, as a consequence of widespread destruction of its forest habitat. Appears to be rather rare and local within rather limited... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., de Juana, E. & Boesman, P. (2019). Nilgiri Woodpigeon (Columba elphinstonii). 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 10 December 2019).