Backyard Birds

Short-billed Pigeons

The Short-billed Pigeons, Patagioenas nigrirostris (see Johnson et al., 2001), is a large pigeon that breeds from southern Mexico south to northwestern Colombia.

This species is replaced at higher altitudes by the very similar Ruddy Pigeon, Patagioenas subvinacea.

Breeding / Nesting:

It is found in lowland forest canopy and semi-open woodland and builds a rudimentary platform nest out of twigs 5-30 m high in a tree or amongst vines. It lays one white egg.

(Columbidae – Please see also Doves)

Pigeon InformationPigeon Intelligence & Amazing FactsSpecies / BreedsBreed Photo Gallery


The Short-billed Pigeons are 26.5 cm long and weigh 150 g. It is unpatterned and mainly wine-purple, becoming browner on the belly and more olive-brown on the back. The tail and primary flight feathers are blackish, 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 scaling on the head and upperparts.

Call / Vocalization:

Short-billed Pigeon has a loud cu-COO k’-COO call.

Diet / Feeding:

It is normally sighted in pairs as it forages in the tree tops for mistletoe, fruits, and berries, but may also be seen on tracks and roadsides seeking grit or small invertebrates.


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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