Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Spotted Imperial-pigeon (Ducula carola)


French: Carpophage charlotte German: Hufeisen-Fruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula de Carlota
Other common names: Grey-necked Imperial-pigeon

Ptilocolpa carola


, 1854,

Philippine Islands


A distinctive species of uncertain affinities, perhaps most closely allied to the D. poliocephala species-group. Nominate carola differs from the two other, well-marked races in having a mid-grey to pale grey vs charcoal-black breast patch (3) and less extensive white above the breast patch (1), but no other evidence of difference is apparent; study of voice needed. Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. c. carola (Bonaparte, 1854) – Spotted Imperial-pigeon – Luzon, Mindoro and Sibuyan (N Philippines). Possibly extirpated on Sibuyan and Mindoro.
  • D. c. nigrorum (J. Whitehead, 1897) – Black-breasted Imperial-pigeon – Negros and Siquijor (C Philippines). Likely to be extinct at least on Siquijor.
  • D. c. mindanensis (Ogilvie-Grant, 1905) – Mindanao (SE Philippines).
  • Descriptive notes

    33–35·5 cm; 258–320 g. Head, neck and breast silvery grey to pale blue-grey, with a crescent-shaped white band across the breast; mantle, back and wing-... read more


    Poorly documented. Advertising call is a low-pitched, descending and accelerating series of hoots... read more


    It inhabits primary and selectively logged forest and forest edge up to 2,400 m, but favours... read more

    Food and feeding

    Few data. Reported to feed on large fruits and berries, including Eugenia and probably Ficus. Sometimes congregates in... read more


    Very little known. Season probably generally Feb to Jul, based on birds collected in breeding condition on various islands. One nest found... read more


    Little information, but on some islands is believed to be somewhat nomadic, with long-range daily... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. All races appear to be rare. The population is estimated at 3500–15,000 individuals. It is thought to be in rapid and continuing decline chiefly on... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Spotted Imperial-pigeon (Ducula carola). 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 3 April 2020).