Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris)


French: Pigeon à bec rouge German: Rotschnabeltaube Spanish: Paloma piquirroja

Columba flavirostris


, 1831,

Veracruz, Mexico


Closely related to P. oenops and P. inornata. Races all rather similar, differing mainly in size; restricta and madrensis sometimes lumped into flavirostris. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. f. restricta (van Rossem, 1930) – W Mexico, from WC Sonora to Sinaloa.
  • P. f. madrensis (Nelson, 1898) – Tres Marías Is (off WC Mexico).
  • P. f. flavirostris (Wagler, 1831) – lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas through SE Sonora, Sierra Madre in Chihuahua, and San Luis Potosí S to Nicaragua and E Costa Rica.
  • P. f. minima (Carriker, 1910) – lowlands of Costa Rica about Gulf of Nicoya.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 32–35 cm, female 30–37 cm; 268–424 g. Head, neck and breast dull purplish, darker on hindneck; chin and upper throat greyish white; back and wings... read more


    Song is a rhythmic series of rather high-pitched coos, typically starting with a single note... read more


    At N extreme of range, inhabits heavily wooded bottomlands of Rio Grande in Texas; in vicinity of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on berries, acorns and buds; in Tres Marías Is, has been recorded taking wild figs (Ficus) and guava (Psidium... read more


    Season Mar–Aug in Costa Rica. Of 4 nests found in Oaxaca, Mexico, 1·5–2·5 m above ground, one was placed in an... read more


    Resident from Mexico to Honduras. Known to be migratory in places, but precise details lacking;... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Clearing of land in 1920s precipitated a decline of this species in Texas, where it is now a rare and protected bird. Common to fairly common... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris). 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 17 January 2020).