Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon

Ducula oceanica monacha

Order

COLUMBIFORMES

Family

Pigeons and Doves (Columbidae)

Code 4

Non-AOU

Code 6

DUCOCE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon has a small range of just 1,400 square kilometers. It only occurs on the islands of Palau and in the Federated States of Micronesia. It also formerly occurred on the Marshall Islands but has become nearly extinct in that part of its range. The Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon, also known as the Belochel, plays an important role in the culture of Palau and occurs in a variety of forest habitats. However, its population has declined in Palau and elsewhere because of illegal hunting and deforestation. Although the size of its population is unknown, it may be around 10,000 individuals. The Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon has been given a conservation rating of Near Threatened on account of its small, declining population.

SUMMARY

Overview

Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon: Large pigeon with gray-white head, neck, and breast. Green-black back, wings, and tail. Chestnut lower belly and vent. Long, rounded wings. Medium black bill with small black knob. Fairly long, rectangular tail. Medium pink-red legs and feet. Female and juvenile like male but darker with brown-black knob on bill.


Range and Habitat

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Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon SONGS AND CALLS

Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon QQ1

Most common call is a low-pitched, throaty "Garaw-raw-aw" that descends in volume.

Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon QQ2

Low, moaning "woo-OO-oo".

Similar Sounding

Nicobar Pigeon RR1

Typically silent. Call is a low, mournful "whroo" or "ku-rrau".


Voice Text

"GRAW-raw-raw-awh"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The main threat to this species is hunting, as it is a cultural food item. Despite a firearms ban in Palau, this hunting may be driving a population decline.
  • The Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon was first described in 1826 on the Caroline Islands by French zoologist Desmarest.
  • This species has been featured on the postage stamps of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati, and Nauru.
  • A group of pigeons is collectively known as "band", a "dropping", a "flight", a "flock", a "kit", a "kitte", a "loft", a "passel", a "school" and a "stool" of pigeons.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
VentX
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
CereX
Also called the operculum, it is a smooth and featherless patch of skin located where the beak attaches to the forehead.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X