Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Near Threatened

White-crowned Pigeon (Patagioenas leucocephala)


French: Pigeon à couronne blanche German: Weißscheiteltaube Spanish: Paloma coronita
Other common names: White-headed Dove

Columba leucocephala


, 1758,



Closely related to P. squamosa; markings on head and neck are totally different, but rest of plumage rather similar, songs spectrographically very close, and the two are genetically very close#R; the two overlap in parts of their ranges but tend to occupy different habitats. Monotypic.


Florida Keys and S tip of mainland Florida, Bahamas, Greater and Lesser Antilles as far S as Guadeloupe; also Caribbean islands off coast of Central America from Yucatán S to NW Panama and NC Colombia.

Descriptive notes

Male 29–40 cm, 188–309 g; female 29–39 cm, 200–267 g. Forehead and crown white; rest of body more or less slate grey; nape maroon to blackish brown;... read more


Song is a rhythmic series of cooing notes “whooo..gwhu-wu..whooo..gwhu-wu..whooo...”,... read more


In Florida Keys, is a bird of mangroves, but forages in hardwood forests. In Puerto Rico, occupies... read more

Food and feeding

An arboreal feeder, mostly foraging on fruits. In Florida Keys, feeds on flowers of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and fruit... read more


Season Apr–Aug. In Costa Rica 86·1% of nests found in black and red mangrove, but less frequent in white mangrove; in other... read more


On Jamaica, moves up from lowlands to montane forests in summer. Wanders freely among islands;... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Locally threatened over much of range, notably in Florida. Still fairly common and widespread in Jamaica.... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). White-crowned Pigeon (Patagioenas leucocephala). 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 15 December 2019).