Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Thick-billed Ground-pigeon (Trugon terrestris)


French: Trugon terrestre German: Erdtaube Spanish: Paloma perdiz picogorda
Other common names: Grey Ground-pigeon

Trugon terrestris

G. R. Gray

, 1849,

Triton Bay, north-west New Guinea


Affinities uncertain, and has no obvious close relatives. Possibly related to Otidiphaps#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. t. terrestris G. R. Gray, 1849 – Salawati, and NW New Guinea lowlands E to Geelvink Bay and Etna Bay.
  • T. t. mayri Rothschild, 1931 – NC New Guinea from Mamberamo R E to Astrolabe Bay.
  • T. t. leucopareia (A. B. Meyer, 1886) – S New Guinea lowlands from Mimika R area E to Milne Bay.
  • Descriptive notes

    31–35 cm; 323–400 g. Specialized thick, blunt bill. Forehead pinkish white becoming dark bluish grey on crown and nape; white to buffish white ear-coverts and... read more


    Seldom heard. The advertising call is a short, low, nasal ‘whouw’ note repeated... read more


    Inhabits rain forest and monsoon forest in lowlands and hills up to 640 m. Usually on the forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes seed by opening fallen fruit with its specialized blunt bill; small fruit is chewed and crushed in the bill and the contents... read more


    Nesting recorded in both wet and dry seasons, with no pattern evident: Feb at Geelvink Bay; Jun, Jul, Oct near R Fly; Feb–Mar near R... read more


    Suspected of being nomadic, following food supplies, but details are lacking and in at least two... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered near-threatened. Apparently rather scarce throughout most of range, although known to be locally common; difficult to census... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W. & Horblit, H.M. (2018). Thick-billed Ground-pigeon (Trugon terrestris). 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 18 March 2018).