Backyard Birds

Ruddy Pigeons

The Ruddy Pigeons, Patagioenas subvinacea (see Johnson et al., 2001), is a large pigeon that breeds from Costa Rica south to western Ecuador, Bolivia, and central Brazil.

It is found in highland forest canopy and semi-open woodland from 1500 m altitude to the timberline. It builds a rudimentary platform nest out of twigs 5 m high in a small tree and lays one white egg.

This species is replaced at lower altitudes by the very similar Short-billed Pigeon, Patagioenas nigrirostris. The two species are best separated by call.

(Columbidae – Please see also Doves)

Pigeon InformationPigeon Intelligence & Amazing FactsSpecies / BreedsBreed Photo Gallery


The Ruddy Pigeons is 28 cm long and weighs 170 g. It is unpatterned and mainly wine-purple, becoming more rufous on the back. The tail and primary flight feathers are dark brown, the bill is black, and the legs and eyes are purple-red.

The female is slightly duller and browner than the male, and the juvenile bird has a greyish brown head, neck, and breast, with cinnamon or rufous scaling on the head and upperparts.

Call / Vocalization:

Ruddy Pigeon has a loud coo, k’-COO coo call.

Diet / Feeding:

It is normally seen in pairs as it forages in the tree tops for mistletoe, fruits, and berries, but may occasionally be seen on tracks and roadside seeking grit.


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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