Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Squatter Pigeon (Geophaps scripta)


French: Colombine marquetée German: Buchstabentaube Spanish: Paloma escrita

Columba scripta


, 1821,

Shoalwater Bay, Queensland, Australia


Closely related to G. smithii. Races rather poorly defined, and broad zone of intergradation in Queensland between S slopes of Einasleigh Uplands and N edge of Burdekin lowlands#R. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. s. peninsulae H. L. White, 1922 – NE Queensland from C Cape York Peninsula S to Burdekin R, excepting coastal lowlands.
  • G. s. scripta (Temminck, 1821) – C & S Queensland (S of Burdekin R) and N New South Wales.
  • Descriptive notes

    26–32 cm; 200–225 g. Face and throat boldly striped black and white; rest of head, neck and upperparts light grey-brown with paler fringes giving scaly appearance... read more


    Not very vocal. In display, utters a faint phrase of three mellow coos, of which the first is... read more


    Open Eucalyptus woodland and associated savanna. In past, may have occurred on open plains... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds primarily on seeds, with some insects, particularly in wet season; takes both native and introduced plants, the most important plant... read more


    Limited data suggest that breeding occurs all year round, with a peak in the dry season; readiness for breeding is apparently strongly... read more


    Little known, but apparently only makes movements on local scale. Like G. smithii, largely... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Status poorly known; survey work needed. Nominate race considered vulnerable by RAOU. No population estimates available. Has declined severely... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W. & Horblit, H.M. (2020). Squatter Pigeon (Geophaps scripta). 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 27 February 2020).