Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Purplish-backed Quail-dove (Zentrygon lawrencii)


French: Colombe de Lawrence German: Purpurrückentaube Spanish: Paloma perdiz de Lawrence
Other common names: Lawrence's Quail-dove

Geotrygon lawrencii


, 1874,

Veraguas, Panama


Traditionally considered close to Z. carrikeri, with which previously considered conspecific; some similarity in vocalizations reported. Birds of NW Costa Rica previously separated as race lentipes. Monotypic.


Costa Rica and Panama (E to Darién).

Descriptive notes

Male 26–27 cm, female 25 cm; 220 g. Forehead greyish white becoming bluish grey to greyish green on crown, nape, hindneck and edge of mantle; rest of mantle and... read more


Song is a three-syllable note 'pum-wha-huUUu', with a clear emphasis on the last syllable... read more


Inhabits dense, cool and wet forest in montane areas: occurs at 400–800 m on Caribbean slopes... read more

Food and feeding

Takes fruit, seeds, insects and worms. Feeds on ground, usually singly or in pairs.


Breeds in Costa Rica Jun–Oct, but apparently earlier in Panama, where 1 nest with egg discovered in mid-Jun and a not quite fully... read more


Considered resident in Panama. Typically walks or runs, rather than flying, away from perceived... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Status poorly known, but species considered to be fairly common though local. However, could become threatened if forest habitat continues to be... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Purplish-backed Quail-dove (Zentrygon lawrencii). 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 25 February 2020).