Bridled Quail-Dove Geotrygon mystacea

  • Order: Columbiformes
  • Family: Columbidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: C. W. Boal
Sections

Behavior

Behavior

Bridled Quail-Doves are usually observed as singles or pairs (Raffaele et al. 1998) but also may occur in larger groups (Seaman 1966, Boal unpublished data). They are quiet and inconspicuous, spending most of their time on the forest floor while foraging among leaf litter. When disturbed, they may remain still or, more commonly, walk away from the source of disturbance. After walking a distance they often stop, sometimes perching on a rock and, apart from bobbing their entire body occasionally, remain motionless. When they do fly, it is usually for only a short distance going uphill away from the disturbance; they usually land on the ground.

Bridled Quail-Doves forage on the forest floor, zig-zagging across shady areas covered in leaf litter. They use their bill to toss aside leaf litter while searching for food (Chipley 1991, Boal 2008). Typical of columbids, they immerse their entire bill in surface water to drink (Seaman 1966).

Bridled Quail-Doves frequently perch on rocks or downed tree trunks that provide slightly elevated positions of about 25 – 50 cm above the ground; from these perches they may rest and preen (Boal unpublished data). However, they retreat to low tree-perches of 3.5–7 m above ground for nighttime roosting (Chipley 1991).

Territoriality

Bridled Quail-Doves generally are seen as pairs, suggesting that some separation from neighbors occurs. However, at the broader scale, Chipley (1991) found that the home ranges of 6 individuals (2–9 ha) completely overlapped each other.

Sexual Behavior

Little information is available. Although Seaman (1966) states Bridled Quail-Doves mate for life, there are no long-term studies with marked populations to substantiate this. Chipley (1991) described courtship behaviors of one pair. It consisted of head-bobbing, allopreening, and displays of raising one or both wings above the back while giving a courtship call; copulation was preceded by allopreening and the male making rapid head-bobs.

Social and interspecific behavior

Little information is available. Bridled Quail-Doves are usually observed as singles or pairs (Raffaele et al. 1998) but also may occur in larger groups (Seaman 1966, Boal unpublished data). Although Seaman (1966) states Bridled Quail-Doves mate for life, there are no long-term studies with marked populations to substantiate this. Preliminary data from a small number of color-banded birds in one study suggest pairs consistently foraged and moved about together, even when numerous individuals came together as loose flocks (Boal unpublished data).

Predation

A predator widely considered as having the most significant negative influence on Bridled Quail-Doves is the Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), which was introduced to islands across the Caribbean in the 1800s. The decline and, at one time, suspected extirpation of Bridled Quail-Doves from St. Croix was attributed to the mongoose. Seaman (1966) suggested Pearly-eyed Thrashers (Margarops fuscatus) may be a substantial threat to Bridled Quail-Dove eggs and nestlings. Introduced rats (Rattus) likely prey upon quail-dove eggs, and feral cats may have a direct predatory influence on some islands. Other predators may include crabs, snakes, and raptors. For example, crabs can be a major predator of eggs and nestlings in coastal environments (Rivera-Milán and Schaffner 2002).

Recommended Citation

Boal, C. W. (2011). Bridled Quail-Dove (Geotrygon mystacea), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.brqdov1.01