Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Short-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas nigrirostris)


French: Pigeon à bec noir German: Kurzschnabeltaube Spanish: Paloma piquicorta

Columba nigrirostris

P. L. Sclater

, 1860,

Oaxaca, Mexico


Forms a species-group with P. plumbea, P. subvinacea and P. goodsoni, and seems particularly close to last-mentioned (see below); all four small species have very similar songs distinct from other Patagioenas; sometimes placed in a subgenus Oenoenas. Includes form chiriquensis (Chiriquí, Panama), known only from type. Monotypic.


SE Mexico to E Panama and NW Colombia (N Chocó).

Descriptive notes

Male 27–31 cm, female 26–29 cm; 128–236 g. Similar in appearance to P. subvinacea with a larger and stouter bill; mantle, back, rump and wing-... read more


Song is a repeated rhythmic phrase of four coos "whu...pwuh..whu..huw", with the second... read more


Occupies forest canopy, forest edge and tall secondary growth in humid lowlands, ranging in places... read more

Food and feeding

Relishes mistletoe and other fruits and berries. In Costa Rica, will descend almost to ground level to feed on pokeberry (Phytolacca... read more


Mar and Aug in Costa Rica; Jun in NW Panama; Jan in N Colombia. Builds a nest platform of twigs and dry inflorescences, situated 5–30... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to abundant in its preferred habitat; a characteristic species of lowland forests in Central America. Common to fairly common in Mexico,... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Short-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas nigrirostris). 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 20 January 2020).