Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Stephan's Dove (Chalcophaps stephani)


French: Colombine d’Étienne German: Stephantaube Spanish: Palomita esmeralda dorsiparda
Other common names: Stephan's Emerald Dove

Chalcophaps stephani


, 1853,

Triton Bay, New Guinea


Closely related to both C. indica and C. longirostris. Validity of biogeographically disjunct race wallacei has been queried, but specimen evidence in NHMUK confirms its status (more extensive and intense blue on crown to neck-sides#R). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. wallacei Brüggemann, 1877 – Sulawesi and Sula Is (Taliabu).
  • C. s. stephani Pucheran, 1853 – Kai Is, Aru Is, and W Papuan Is E through lowland New Guinea (including Yapen I and Karkar I) to Bismarck Archipelago (including Admiralty Is and Lihir Is) and D’Entrecasteaux Is.
  • C. s. mortoni E. P. Ramsay, 1882 – Nissan, Buka#R and Bougainville S in Solomon Is to Makira (San Cristobal) and Santa Ana.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–25 cm; 118–126 g. Similar to C. indica, but marginally smaller, with more rounded tail. Differs from sympatric Gallicolumba doves in brighter... read more


    Advertising call usually commences with mournful “woooah” followed, after 1–2 seconds, by long... read more


    Inhabits humid evergreen forest interior and dry secondary coastal forest in Sulawesi, principally... read more

    Food and feeding

    Spends much time on the ground, taking seeds, fallen fruit and probably insects, as well as grit; no definite records of arboreal foraging... read more


    Season said to be mainly Jan–May in New Guinea, but one dated nest mid-July. Displays apparently similar to those of C. indica... read more


    Known to be locally nomadic in habitat with seasonally dry climatic conditions. Probably also... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Recorded in Gunung Ambang Nature Reserve, Sulawesi. Few precise data available; widespread but local throughout New Guinea, although density of c. 4... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Stephan's Dove (Chalcophaps stephani). 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 25 January 2020).