Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Violaceous Quail-dove (Geotrygon violacea)


French: Colombe à nuque violette German: Bischofstaube Spanish: Paloma perdiz violácea
Other common names: Violet Quail Dove

Columba Violacea


, 1809,

probably Suriname


Like most of congeners, formerly placed in genus Oreopeleia. Closely related to G. chrysia and probably G. mystacea, both of which it resembles in coloration. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. v. albiventer Lawrence, 1865 – Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama through NE Colombia (Santa Marta region) to E Venezuela.
  • G. v. violacea (Temminck, 1809) – SE Colombia, Guyana and Suriname through E Brazil S of Amazon (E Pará, Alagoas and Bahia through Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais to São Paulo and Paraná) to east-central and south-east Peru#R, N & E Bolivia (Pando, La Paz, Beni, Santa Cruz), Paraguay and extreme NE Argentina (Misiones); status unclear in Ecuador#R and NE Peru#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 21–23·5 cm, female 21–24·5 cm; 93–150 g. Forehead and face greyish white becoming greyish mauve on crown, then iridescent purple or... read more


    Advertising call is a repeated, single, rather high-pitched cooing note (duration c. 1 second,... read more


    Frequents heavily shaded undergrowth in tropical lowland evergreen forest, secondary forest and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds and fallen fruits and probably small invertebrates. Forages on the ground.


    In Colombia, four breeding condition birds taken in Mar–Jun, and a juvenile in Jul, with a barred juvenile taken in late Sept; in... read more


    Seasonal movements and even distribution poorly known. In east-central and south-east Peru the... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Local and scarce in Caribbean lowlands and foothills of Costa Rica and Nicoya Peninsula; more numerous in moist forest along Pacific... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Sharpe, C.J., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Violaceous Quail-dove (Geotrygon violacea). 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 16 November 2019).