Ruddy Quail-Dove (Geotrygon montana)

Ruddy Quail-Dove


The ruddy quail-dove (Geotrygon montana) is a species of bird in the dove and pigeon family Columbidae. It breeds throughout the West Indies, Central America, and tropical South America. It has appeared as a vagrant in Florida and southern Texas. It lays two buff-colored eggs on a flimsy platform built on a shrub. Some nests are built on the ground. The ruddy quail-dove is approximately 19–28 cm in length. The bird is distinguished by having a rust-colored back, facial mask and similarly colored wings. The breast, rump and undereye stripe are lighter brown.

Distribution And Habitat

The Ruddy Quail-Dove breeds from Mexico to Brazil and throughout the West Indies (Raffaele and others 1998). In Puerto Rico, it has been reported from Maricao and Carite State Forests (Bowdish 1902, Oberle 2018), all forested areas at lower elevations of the Sierra de Luquillo (Recher and Recher 1966), and Mona (Terborgh and Faaborg 1973). It is described as extremely rare on Vieques (Gemmill 2015). This species usually inhabits humid and heavily forested areas among the hills and mountains, and it is common in coffee, citrus, and cacao plantations (Bond 1961, Oberle 2000, Raffaele 1989a). It is associated with dense forests with a well-developed understory (Oberle 2018), as it dwells mostly on the forest fl oor (Raffaele 1989a). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 97 records within 77 hexagons or 16 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the 77 hexagons where this species was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 4 percent (3) of the hexagons, probable in 5 percent (4), and possible in 91 percent (70) (see map). Ruddy Quail-Dove distribution. The map shows the highest breeding code by hexagon and overlaying the ecological life zones in Puerto Rico. Note: percentages may not total 100 due to rounding. 55Ruddy Quail-Dove/Paloma Perdiz Rojiza

Ruddy Quail-Dove Distribution

Breeding Habits

The Ruddy Quail-Dove builds nests made of twigs and leaves, usually low on fallen trees or small shrubs (Biaggi 1997, Raffaele 1989a). The nests are commonly constructed near or on the ground, and previously published reports indicate that breeding occurs from February to August (Raffaele 1989a). Nevertheless, atlas results show that this species breeding season extends throughout the year, with the most breeding activity in April, May, and June (see chart). Results show that this species breeds mostly within the subtropical moist forest life zone (53 percent of the hexagons), as well as in subtropical wet and lower montane wet forest life zones (36 percent of the hexagons) to a lesser extent (see table and map). Most of the confirmed breeding records are from the Sierra de Luquillo.


This species is currently listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2016). However, it is predicted to lose 16.5–18.7 percent of suitable habitat within its distribution range over three generations, or around 14 years, based on Amazonian deforestation model projections (Bird and others 2012, Soares- Filho and others 2006). Locally, this species is not listed in any of the threatened categories of PRDNER and USFWS. In Puerto Rico, the Ruddy Quail-Dove has a protected habitat in land of 25 percent or 455 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (1842 km2).