Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Pale-capped Pigeon (Columba punicea)


French: Pigeon marron German: Kupfertaube Spanish: Paloma purpúrea
Other common names: Chestnut Pigeon

Columba (Alsocomus) puniceus


, 1842,



Probably related to C. pulchricollis and allied species, and perhaps also to C. argentina. Monotypic.


E & NE India in NE Ghats, W Bengal, Assam Valley and S Assam Hills#R; locally in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Formerly in SE Tibet and Hainan.

Descriptive notes

36–41 cm; 370–510 g. Forehead, crown and nape silvery grey, forehead notably sloping in profile; throat and neck brown with coppery iridescence merging into... read more


Voice almost unknown. In groups, individuals give very faint contact calls rendered “rhuhuhuhu”.


A forest species, occurring from the plains up to 1600 m; in SE Asia recorded only up to 1280 m.... read more

Food and feeding

Takes wild figs, fruits, berries such as Litsaea nitida, bamboo seeds and various kinds of grain. Usually observed as single... read more


May–Aug, with a peak in Jul. Nest is a flimsy structure of twigs placed low down, usually less than 6 m above ground, in a tall bush... read more


Habits not well understood; species appears essentially to be resident, though may make seasonal... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Widespread but extremely locally distributed; always reported as being uncommon and is now rare throughout much of range. Appears still to be locally frequent in... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2018). Pale-capped Pigeon (Columba punicea). 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 18 July 2018).