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 cm. Head, neck and breast silvery grey to pale blue-grey, with a crescent-shaped white band across the breast; mantle, back and wing-coverts silver grey or mauve-grey... read more


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


    Forest, including forest edge, from lowlands up to 2000 m.

    Food and feeding

    Little information. Reported to feed on large fruits and berries. Sometimes congregates in large numbers at fruiting trees.


    Very little known. One nest found in May on Mindoro, in a hollow in a perpendicular cliff, c. 4 m up; it was a scant platform of twigs,... read more


    Little information. Reported to fly regularly over mountain ridges in flocks.

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. All races appear to be rare, with populations in decline due to continuing habitat destruction and hunting. During fieldwork in 1991, species could not be found... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Boesman, P. (2018). 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 19 July 2018).