Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Nukuhiva Imperial-pigeon (Ducula galeata)


French: Carpophage des Marquises German: Marquesasfruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula de las Marquesas
Other common names: Marquesas Imperial-pigeon

Serresius galeatus


, 1855,

Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands


Usually considered to be closest to D. pacifica, D. oceanica and D. aurorae. Monotypic.


Nuku Hiva, in N Marquesas Is. Formerly more widespread.

Introduced successfully to Ua Huka (c. 40 km E of Nuku Hiva).

Descriptive notes

55 cm. A large pigeon with a large, long head and long tail; mantle, back, rump and wing-coverts glossy dark green; head, neck and underparts dark grey; undertail-coverts... read more


Very vocal, especially in the morning. Advertising call is a loud, low-pitched guttural, gurgling “... read more


Inhabits remote forested valleys above 700 m. Roosts on tall trees close to cliffs.

Food and feeding

Frugivorous; favourite foods include guavas and the large almond-like fruit of Terminalia catappa (Combretaceae), both of which... read more


Nests with nestlings reported in Oct and May but nesting is also reported during June–August. Nests described by Marquesans as being... read more


No movements known. Often soars over mountain ridges in strong winds; strong flier, with deep,... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Previously listed as Critically Endangered. This species is confined to Nuku Hiva Island and the island of Ua Huka; the latter population results from a... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Nukuhiva Imperial-pigeon (Ducula galeata). 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 26 January 2020).