Tuesday, May 22

Mountain imperial-pigeon

   ›      ›   Mountain imperial-pigeon - Ducula badia

The mountain imperial-pigeon (Ducula badia) belongs to the family of doves and pigeons, the Columbidae.

The mountain imperial-pigeon species is distributed in India, Nepal, Bhutan, southeast Asia and China. Hitherto these imperial-pigeon species were considered conspecific with Ducula cuprea. These imperial-pigeons are polytypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Mountain Imperial-pigeon Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The mountain imperial-pigeon (Ducula badia) is a large imperial pigeon, measuring 40 to 50 cm in length and weighing 320 to 660 grams.

The mountain imperial-pigeon has vinous-gray head, neck and underparts. The hindneck is pinkish. The throat is whitish. The wings and the upperparts are dull brownish-maroon. The tail is long. The uppertail is gray and the undertail is whitish.

The bill is long, pointed and pinkish. The tip of the bill is whitish. The irises are whitish. There is a gray eye-ring. The legs and feet are pink. The call of the mountain imperial-pigeon is a resonant hooting "hu....hoo" sound.
Birds of India - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia
1.Indian birds - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia by Francesco Veronesi

Indian birds - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia
2.Birds of India - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia by Jason Thompson

Birds of India - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia
3.Indian birds - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia by tontantravel

Indian birds - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia
4.Birds of India - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia by Dibyendu Ash

Birds of India - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia
5.Indian birds - Photo of Mountain imperial pigeon - Ducula badia by Dave Curtis

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These mountain imperial-pigeon species are distributed in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and China.

In India, these imperial-pigeon species are distributed in the states of Sikkim, northern West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram.

The nominate mountain imperial-pigeon subspecies D. b. badia is distributed in Malay Peninsula, Sumatra (Indonesia), Borneo (Indonesia and Malaysia) and west Java (Indonesia).

The imperial-pigeon subspecies D. b. griseicapilla is distributed in northeast India (Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram), Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and south central China.

The imperial-pigeon subspecies D. b. insignis is distributed in central Nepal, Bhutan and India (Sikkim, northern West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya).

Ecosystem and habitat

These mountain imperial-pigeon species have high forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 2300 meters.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these imperial-pigeon species include tropical and subtropical moist montane forests, evergreen and deciduous forests, tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, old-growth forests and mangrove forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these mountain imperial-pigeon species consists mainly of fruits. Wild fruits, berries, figs and nutmeg are their primary food. The fruits are plucked and swallowed whole. Occasionally they go to the ground to drink.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these mountain imperial-pigeon species is extended depending upon food availability and weather. The subspecies D. b. insignis (Nepal, Bhutan and India) breeds from March to August.

These imperial-pigeon species are monogamous. The nesting sites include fork and branches of trees. The nest is a flimsy platform built with sticks and twigs.

The clutch contains one or two eggs. Both the parents incubate the eggs. The nestlings are fed with crop milk, a thick cheesy substance, derived from sloughed off squamous cells from the crop of both male and female birds.

Migration and movement patterns

These mountain imperial-pigeon species are non-migratory resident birds. The populations in higher altitudes descent to lower levels in winter.

Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. Within their range they may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Mountain imperial pigeon - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Ducula badia
  • Species author: (Raffles, 1822)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Columba badia Raffles, 1822
  • Family: Columbidae › Columbiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Mountain imperial pigeon, Chinese: 皇鸠, French: Carpophage à manteau brun, German: Fahlbauch-Fruchttaube, Spanish: Dúcula dorsicastaña, Russian: Горный плодоядный голубь, Japanese: ヤマミカドバト
  • Other names: Maroon-backed imperial pigeon, Hodgson's imperial pigeon
  • Distribution: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, China
  • Diet and feeding habits: fruits, berries, figs, nutmeg
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the mountain imperial-pigeon (Ducula badia) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be decreasing.

In most of its range, this species is reported to be fairly common. The generation length is 6.6 years. Its distribution size is about 8,450,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration, fragmentation and destruction, deforestation, human intrusions and disturbance, commercial hunting and capture for pet-trade are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these species.

IUCN and CITES status

The mountain imperial-pigeon (Ducula badia) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the mountain imperial-pigeon (Ducula badia).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Ducula badia
Species:D. badia
Binomial name:Ducula badia
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The mountain imperial-pigeon (Ducula badia) was earlier considered conspecific with Nilgiri imperial-pigeon (Ducula cuprea).
The three recognized subspecies of the mountain imperial-pigeon are:
D. b. badia (Raffles, 1822),
D. b. insignis Hodgson, 1836 and
D. b. griseicapilla Walden, 1875.
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1.Mountain imperial pigeon photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_veronesi/14269742271/ (cropped)
Photo author: Francesco Veronesi | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 5/22/18
2.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79492850@N00/8541459416/ (cropped)
Author: Jason Thompson | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 5/22/18
3.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tontantravel/8362024378/ (cropped)
Photo author: tontantravel | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 5/22/18
4.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/ (cropped)
Photo author: Dibyendu Ash | License: CC BY-SA 4.0 as on 5/22/18
5.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/davethebird/19530368636/ (cropped)
Photo author: Dave Curtis | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 as on 5/22/18
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