Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Near Threatened

Red-knobbed Imperial-pigeon (Ducula rubricera)


French: Carpophage à cire rouge German: Rothöcker-Fruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula cerirrubra
Other common names: Red-knobbed Pigeon

Globicera rubricera


, 1854,

New Ireland


Closely related to D. myristicivora and D. geelvinkiana. The form rufigula differs in one major character, having grey (not pink) breast, neck-sides, nape and crown (score 3); but other differences not apparent; its most characteristic calls are similar to those of nominate#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. r. rubricera (Bonaparte, 1854) – Bismarck Red-knobbed Imperial-pigeon – Bismarck Archipelago from New Hanover, New Ireland and island groups of Tabar, Lihir, Tanga and Feni, S through Watom I and Duke of York I to New Britain, Lolobau, Sakar and Umboi.
  • D. r. rufigula (Salvadori, 1878) – Solomon Red-knobbed Imperial-pigeon – Solomon Is (except Rennell).
  • Descriptive notes

    38–45 cm; 628–722 g. Head, nape, and upper breast pale mauve-pink shading through darker pink on lower breast to chestnut on belly, flanks and undertail-coverts;... read more


    On the Solomons, a low-pitched drawn-out hoot at increasing then fading amplitude, which can also... read more


    Primary forest and second growth; also fruiting trees in partially cleared areas. Found from sea-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous, taking a variety of fruits and berries. Feeds in the canopy; usually seen alone or in pairs, but flocks of up to 34 are... read more


    Little information. Large numbers were reported to be nesting in low shrubs in C Solomons in Feb; birds in breeding condition collected on... read more


    No information on movements or home range. Often seen flying above the canopy; flies strongly.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. The global population is estimated at 15,000–30,000 individuals. It is still common where extensive... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Red-knobbed Imperial-pigeon (Ducula rubricera). 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 26 January 2020).