Backyard BirdsUncategorized

West Peruvian Doves aka Pacific Doves

The Pacific Doves (Z. meloda) was first described in 1843 by the Swiss naturalist Johann Jakob Baron von Tschudi, (1818–1889). It is classified as LC (i.e. “Least Concern”) on the IUCN Red List.

It is closely related to the North American White-winged Dove, but is now considered to be a separate species by ornithologists due to genetic and behavioral differences (Johnson and Clayton, 2000).

Specimens are brownish-gray above and gray below, with a bold white wing patch that appears as a brilliant white crescent in flight and is also visible at rest.

Adults Pacific Doves have a bright blue (almost indigo), featherless patch of skin around each eye. The legs and feet of adults are red, but unlike Z. asiatica their eyes are brown.

Both sexes are similar, but juveniles have a lighter color than adults. They have no blue eye ring and their legs and feet are brownish-pink.

Major Habitats

  • 1.5 Forest – Subtropical/Tropical Dry
  • 1.6 Forest – Subtropical/Tropical Moist
  • 11.6 Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest (IUCN Red List).


Its native range extends along the Pacific coastal plains from southern Ecuador to northern Chile. This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 187,000 km.

Its global population has not been estimated, but is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘common’ in at least parts of its range.

Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations).

For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. (IUCN Red List).

Further Dove Information


This dove’s cooing calls have earned it the name Cuculí in Peru, due to their melodious hoo-hoo-WOO… hoo-hoo-WOO-hoo. It seems native Spanish speakers interpret the dove’s syncopated cooing as coo-coo-LEE.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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