All Imperial Pigeons (Ducula spp.)
The large, worldwide family of pigeons feeds predominantly on fruits, seeds, and berries, and all have rather compact, plump bodies and short, stout bills. They nest on flimsy twig platform nests, laying white eggs. Calls are repetitive, melodious coos, and in flight pigeons make a characteristic flapping noise. Thirty species occur in the Greater Sundas, comprising three species groups.
- Fruit-doves and green-pigeons - (Terron, Ptilinopus) - smaller, arboreal birds with generally brightly coloured plumage without metallic colours.
- Imperial pigeons - (Ducula, Columba) - large, arboreal birds with metallic sheen in the plumage and generally with grey or whitish underparts.
- Ground doves - (Macropygia, Streptopelia, Geopelia, Chalcophaps and Caloenas) - birds which regularly visit the ground and have either highly iridescent, greenish upperparts, or drab, reddish brown colours.
Pied Imperial-Pigeon (Nutmeg Imperial-Pigeon) (Ducula bicolor)
Description: Large (42 cm) white and black pigeon. Entire body creamy white except black flight feathers and tail. Distinguished from Silvery Wood-Pigeon by whiter or more creamy colour.
Iris - brown; bill - grey; feet - blue-grey.
Voice: Deep, loud, resonant, chuckling hu-hu-hu-hu-hu.
Range: Malay Peninsula, SE Asia, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Philippines, Sulawesi, Lesser Sundas, Moluccas to Irian Jaya.
Habits: Settles in communal roosts and forages in small parties. Powerful fliers, birds often fly between small islands. Feeds and sits conspicuously in high treees.
Mountain Imperial-Pigeon(Ducula badia)
Description: Large (45 cm) darkish pigeon. Head, neck, breast, and belly purplish grey; chin and throat white; mantle and wing coverts dark maroon; back and rump dark greyish brown; tail is brownish black with a broad, pale grey terminal band; undertail coverts buff. Distinguished from Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon by purplish black and buff vent, and from Green Imperial-Pigeon by bicoloued tail.
Iris - white, grey, or red; bill - crimson with white tip; feet - crimson.
Voice: A click followed by two melancholic, booming coos click-broom-broom
Range: India, SE Asia, Borneo, Sumatra, and W Java.
Distribution and status: In Borneo this is the commonest large pigeon of montane forests between 400 and 2200 m, but also visits coastal mangroves.
Habits: Coastal birds bathe in the mangrove water and make daily trips inland. Montane populations make daily flights to lowland feeding areas. Shier than Green Imperial-Pigeon.