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Geotrygon mystacea

Bridled Quail-Dove

  • Order: Columbiformes
  • Family: Columbidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Boal, C. W

Geotrygon mystacea

Windberg, St. John Island, Virgin Islands; 20 January 2011 © Stephen Davies

The Bridled Quail-Dove is a shy, secretive, and inconspicuous medium-sized ground-dwelling dove typically found foraging among leaf litter in mountainous forests and lowland woodlands. It is not known to make any substantive daily movements and, as such, is a sedate resident within a restricted range of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and some of the Lesser Antilles. It is considered uncommon or rare virtually everywhere within its range. Usually seen singly or in pairs, but aggregations of over a dozen may occur, especially in the non-breeding season. When disturbed, it’s habit is to walk upslope rather than fly. The Bridled Quail-dove walks with a purposeful stride, making occasional pauses, during which it bobs its head and tail in sequence. Similar to other columbids, the Bridled Quail-doves sets clutches of 2 eggs in a fragile, spindly nest of twigs up to 6 m above ground. Bridled Quail-doves have not fared well in areas of human activity and numbers have declined across its range, presumably due to habitat loss, but also due to hunting and predation by introduced predators. Local names include "wood dove" and "wood hen", indicating its preference for forest and woodland habitat.

Recommended Citation

Boal, C. W. 2011. Bridled Quail-Dove (Geotrygon mystacea), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical deciduous forest
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial
  • Foraging Behavior:Peck
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Platform
  • Clutch: 1 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern