Bridled Quail-Dove (Geotrygon mystacea)

Bridled Quail-Dove


The bridled quail-dove (Geotrygon mystacea) is a species of bird in the family Columbidae. It is found from Saint Lucia in the Lesser Antilles north and west to Puerto Rico. Specimens of bridled quail-dove from several islands had mean weights between 208 and 224 g (7.3 and 7.9 oz) with fairly large standard deviations. These data and measurements of various body parts suggest that the species "has low morphometric variance across its distribution."

Distribution And Habitat

The Bridled Quail-Dove is an extremely rare resident species in Puerto Rico (Raffaele and others 1998). On Vieques, it is described as a rare resident, restricted to the higher elevations of Mt. Pirata and Cerro El Buey (Gemmill 2015), and there are also records from Culebra (Biaggi 1997). This species is a secretive forest dweller that prefers dense mountain or lowland woodlands (Boal 2011, Raffaele and others 1998). The atlas fieldwork yielded a total of 10 records within three hexagons or 0.6 percent of the 479 total hexagons (see map). Of the three hexagons where this species was found, breeding met the atlas definition of confirmed in 33 percent (one) of the hexagons and possible in 67 percent (two) (see map).

Bridled Quail-Dove Distribution

Breeding Habits

Bridled Quail-Dove nests are small platforms of twigs that are placed in vines, shrubs, and trees at a low height. Previously published reports indicate that breeding takes place primarily from May to July but also from October to December (Boal 2011, Raffaele and others 1998). Atlas results do not show a clear Bridled 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. 59Bridled Quail-Dove/Paloma Perdiz de Martinicapattern as evidence of breeding is very low for this species (see chart). Results show that all breeding activity was associated with the subtropical moist forest life zone (100 percent of the hexagons) (see table and map).


The Bridled Quail-Dove population is suspected to be declining owing to habitat alteration and loss throughout its distribution (mostly the eastern Caribbean and Virgin Islands); introduction of mongooses (Herpestes auropunctatus), cats (Felis catus), and rats (Rattus spp.) to islands; and hunting (Boal 2011). However, the Bridled Quail-Dove is listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN (BirdLife International 2016), whereas in Puerto Rico it is a conservation priority due to lack of data (PRDNER 2015, 2016). In Puerto Rico, the Bridled Quail-Dove has a protected habitat in land of 23 percent or 16 km2 of the total area covered by the hexagons where evidence of breeding was found for this species (71 km2).