Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Polynesian Imperial-pigeon (Ducula aurorae)


French: Carpophage de la Société German: Aurorafruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula de Makatea
Other common names: Tahitian Pigeon

Carpophaga auroræ


, 1848,

Makatea (formerly Aurora Island), Tuamotu Archipelago


Closely related to D. pacifica, of which sometimes considered a subspecies; these two are closely related also to D. oceanica and perhaps D. galeata. Races differ little, apparently only in number of tail feathers, and the species is sometimes treated as monotypic#R. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. a. aurorae (Peale, 1848) – Makatea (Tuamotu Archipelago).
  • D. a. wilkesii (Peale, 1848) – Tahiti (Society Is). May already be extinct.
  • Descriptive notes

    51 cm. Large, long-tailed pigeon with dark iridescent green and blue back, wings and tail; head, neck and underparts pale silvery grey; undertail-coverts greyish, sometimes... read more


    Poorly documented. Only available recording (from Makatea) illustrates presumed advertising call, a... read more


    Dense forests.

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous; feeds on a variety of native and introduced fruits, including guava, wild plantains, figs, Terminalia (Combretaceae... read more


    No information available.


    No information. Flight slow, with deep wingbeats.

    Status and conservation

    ENDANGERED. Previously listed as Vulnerable. This species is almost certainly now restricted to one very small island, Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago, where the total... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Polynesian Imperial-pigeon (Ducula aurorae). 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 11 December 2019).