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


Not well documented. Advertising call is a loud, low-pitched guttural, gurgling “neah-ah-ah-ah-ah”... 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. Nests described by Marquesans as being substantial (for a pigeon), built of sticks and placed... 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. Confined to narrow valleys at W end of Nukuhiva; total population estimated at 150–300 birds in 1993. Hunting is... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2019). 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 21 January 2019).