Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris)

Red-billed Pigeon

[order] COLUMBIFORMES | [family] Columbidae | [latin] Patagioenas flavirostris | [UK] Red-billed Pigeon | [FR] Pigeon a bec rouge | [DE] Rotschnabel-Taube | [ES] Paloma Piquirroja | [NL] Roodsnavelduif


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Patagioenas flavirostris MA widespread
Patagioenas flavirostris flavirostris s Texas (USA) to e Costa Rica
Patagioenas flavirostris madrensis Tres Marias Is. (off w Mexico)
Patagioenas flavirostris minima w Costa Rica
Patagioenas flavirostris restricta w Mexico

Physical charateristics

A rather large dark pigeon, with broad fanlike tail, small red bill. In favorable light shows much deep maroon on foreparts. Distinguished from all other pigeons in the lower Rio Grande Valley by its size and uniform dark appearance.

Listen to the sound of Red-billed Pigeon

[audio: Pigeon.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 58 cm wingspan max.: 61 cm
size min.: 33 cm size max.: 36 cm
incubation min.: 18 days incubation max.: 20 days
fledging min.: 22 days fledging max.: 25 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 2  


Middle America : widespread


River woodlands, tall brush. In Texas, found mostly in relatively undisturbed native woods of
hackberry, mesquite, huisache, ebony, and other trees. Farther south, inhabits dry woodlands of various types, generally avoiding more humid regions of rain forest.


Nesting behavior is not well known.
Nest: Site is in tree, large shrub, or tangled vines, usually 8-
30′ above the ground, and usually on horizontal fork in branch. Nest (probably built by both sexes) is flimsy platform of sticks, lined with grasses and stems.
Eggs: 1, rarely 2. White. Incubation apparently by both parents, incubation period not well known. If adults are disturbed on nest, they put on a distraction display, dropping from the nest and fluttering low over the ground.

Apparently fed by both parents. At first, as with other pigeons, probably fed only milky secretions produced in crop (enlarged upper section of esophagus) of adults; later, young receive solid food mixed with this “pigeon milk.” Development of young and
age at first flight not well known. May raise several broods per year in the tropics.

Feeding habits

Includes berries, seeds, nuts.
Diet not known in detail. Feeds on many wild fruits and berries, including those of hackberry, mistletoe, wild fig, and many other plants. Also eats many acorns when available, and seeds of a variety of plants.
Behavior: Forages mostly in trees and shrubs, climbing about among the branches to reach berries. Will also come to the ground to feed, including on waste grain in fields. Usually forages in pairs or small flocks.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Red-billed Pigeon status Least Concern


Southern Texas to Costa Rica. Resident in lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Migration: Probably permanent resident in much of its range; some withdrawal from northernmost part of range (in Texas) during the winter.

Distribution map

Red-billed Pigeon distribution range map

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