Saturday 18 May
Plain pigeon (Patagioenas inornata)
Plain pigeon fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Plain pigeon description
This large pigeon is about the size and shape of a domestic pigeon, and appears pale blue-grey at a distance (3). When closer up, it can be identified by a subtle wine-colouring on its wings and breast, and a white margin on the leading-edge of the wing (4). It has a dark grey to black tail and bill, dark red legs and interestingly coloured eyes; the iris is a ring of pale blue, surrounded by a ring of dark blue and then a ring of pale orange. Females are slightly paler than male plain pigeons, and juveniles can be distinguished by their more brown colouring (2).
- Columba inornata. Top
- A plant that uses another plant, typically a tree, for its physical support, but which does not draw nourishment from it.
- Secondary forest
- Regenerating forest that has not yet reached the mature state of primary forest.
- A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
- IUCN Red List (January, 2007)
- del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1997) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (April, 2007)
- National Audubon Society (April, 2007)
- International Dove Society (April, 2007)
- Island Resources Foundation (April, 2007)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Plain pigeon biology
Just as the habitat preferences of this pigeon differ between the islands, its breeding season seems to also vary. In Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, breeding occurs between April and July, whilst in Puerto Rico breeding appears to occur all year round. The Puerto Rican population also differs by normally laying a single egg, compared to an average of two eggs on the other islands. It builds fragile stick nests in trees, (including mangroves, pines and hardwoods), or on epiphytic plants, where the eggs are incubated for 13 – 15 days. Fledging occurs after 21 - 23 days (2).
The plain pigeon has a varied diet, consisting of fruits, berries, seeds, buds, leaves and flowers. It sometimes feeds on the ground, but spends the majority of its time feeding in the trees (2).Top
Plain pigeon range
The plain pigeon is found only in the Greater Antilles. Three subspecies of the plain pigeon are recognised; Patagioenas inornata inornata is found on Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti, Patagioenas inornata exigua exists only on Jamaica, and Patagioenas inornata wetmorei is restricted to Puerto Rico (5).Top
Plain pigeon habitat
Found in a variety of habitats, which differ between islands. It is found mainly in lowland forest, mangrove and swampy areas in Cuba, highland pine and broadleaf forest, and occasionally coastal desert and mangroves in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, montane rainforests in Jamaica, and in secondary forest, pasture and farmland in Puerto Rico (1).Top
Plain pigeon statusTop
Plain pigeon threats
The plain pigeon was once abundant and widespread throughout the Greater Antilles, but has since suffered a severe decline in numbers, and populations have become fragmented (4). This has been attributed to logging and the clearance of land for agricultural plantations, which has reduced the amount of suitable habitat available for the plain pigeon (1). Hunting has also been blamed for the decline of the plain pigeon (1). It has a surprisingly unwary nature, and therefore is an easy target for hunters (6). Furthermore, the devastating effects of hurricanes have contributed to the decline of this Caribbean bird (1).Top
Plain pigeon conservation
In 2005, the plain pigeon was down-listed from Vulnerable to Near Threatened, according to the IUCN Red List (1). This is primarily due to a recovery programme implemented in Puerto Rico, after being listed as Endangered on the U.S. Endangered Species Act 1967 (3). A captive breeding programme which started in 1983 resulted in the release of a few birds into the wild in 1993. However, the area of Puerto Rico where most birds occur is still threatened by habitat loss and human disturbance (4), and therefore further conservation measures are still required.
Elsewhere, little conservation action is occurring. The plain pigeon is protected against hunting throughout its range, but this is generally not enforced, and therefore illegal hunting still occurs (6). Surveys to assess the numbers of this species and its distribution are required, (1), as is protection from further habitat destruction and hunting (6).Top
AuthenticationThis information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: email@example.comTop
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.