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White-crowned Pigeon

Patagioenas leucocephala ORDER: COLUMBIFORMES FAMILY: COLUMBIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

A resident of islands and coastlines in the Caribbean, the White-crowned Pigeon reaches the northern limits of its range in south Florida. It feeds almost entirely on fruits of hardwood trees.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
13–13.8 in
33–35 cm
Wingspan
23.2 in
59 cm
Weight
7.8–9.9 oz
220–280 g
Other Names
  • Pigeon à couronne blanch (French)
  • Paloma corona blanca (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The White-crowned Pigeon nests and forages in two distinct habitats: islands and forests supporting fruiting trees. Daily flights between the two habitats are sometimes longer than 30 miles (50 km).
  • The ground speed of the White-crowned Pigeon in flight has not been formally documented, but is said to easily outpace a fast motorboat.

Habitat


Forest

Nests in coastal and island forests, including mangroves, and feeds in forests with a wide variety of fruit-bearing trees.

Food


Fruit

Fruits and berries of more than 50 species of trees; sometimes wasps and flies.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–3 eggs
Egg Description
White.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless, with long orange-yellow down.
Nest Description

Platform of sticks, lined with smaller twigs, placed in trees, often above water.

Nest Placement

Tree

Behavior


Foliage Gleaner

Usually forages in trees; may hang upside down to pick fruit. Appears to prefer ripe fruits. Feeds singly, in pairs, in small groups, or, where food resources are concentrated, in large aggregations of more than 1,000 individuals.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Near Threatened

Threatened throughout its range. Hunted for food in late 19th century and early 20th century in Florida. Now protected in Florida, but still hunted extensively in Caribbean countries. Habitat availability is crucial for the species' nesting success; mangrove forests where the species breeds in Florida are all within national parks and refuges. If in the direct path of severe hurricanes, significant portions of habitat in Florida could be destroyed for years. Loss of breeding and feeding habitats remain a concern throughout the range of the species.

Credits

  • Bancroft, G. T., and R. Bowman. 2001. White-crowned Pigeon (Columba leucocephala). In The Birds of North America, No. 596 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

White-crowned Pigeon Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings