Fun Mountain Imperial Pigeon Facts For Kids

Gurpuneet Kaur
Oct 20, 2022 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
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Some interesting and fun facts about a mountain imperial pigeon from the order Columbiformes.

One of the species of bird from the order Columbiformes – precisely, belonging to the pigeon and dove family – is a mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia.

The identification of the birds was first documented by Raffles, 1822. The species of birds are recorded to have four subspecies based on their distribution – Ducula badia badia, Ducula badia cuprea, Ducula badia insignis, and Ducula badia griseicapilla.

Furthermore, it is known by distinctive names in various foreign languages, like, fahlbauch fruchttaube in German, carpophage à manteau brun in French, and is also known as maroon-backed imperial pigeon or Hodgson's imperial pigeon.

Formerly, it was considered conspecific with the birds belonging to the same family genus, i.e. a Nilgiri imperial pigeon (Ducula cuprea).

The distribution of the bird's population range from India, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is quite common in the northeastern states of India.

The species of bird is highly dependent on forests that range from subtropical and tropical moist lowland forests to evergreen, deciduous, mangrove, subtropical, and tropical montane forests. Mostly, it is found in the upper level of the forest and down to the sea level.

If the uniqueness of the mountain imperial pigeon makes you interested to read more about similar species, you can read about dove and rook.  

Mountain Imperial Pigeon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a mountain imperial pigeon?

A mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia, is a species of bird from the family Columbidae. It was first documented by Raffles (1822). Formerly, it was considered conspecific to birds belonging to the same genus, i.e.

the Nilgiri imperial pigeon. It has several subspecies that range among Ducula badia badia, Ducula badia cuprea, Ducula badia insignis, and Ducula badia griseicapilla. It is also known as fahlbauch fruchttaube, carpophage à manteau brun, maroon-backed imperial pigeon, or Hodgson's imperial pigeon.

What class of animal does a mountain imperial pigeon belong to?

While it was considered conspecific to the Nilgiri imperial pigeon from the same family genus of Ducula, the mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia (Raffles, 1822), belongs to the class Aves, order Columbiformes, family Columbidae, and genus Ducula.

It has four subspecies documented on the basis of its distribution – Ducula badia badia, Ducula badia cuprea, Ducula badia insignis, and Ducula badia griseicapilla.

How many mountain imperial pigeons are there in the world?

The population of the mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia, is not quantified. While there is no specific estimated number highlighting the population of the species around the world, the birds are categorized as Least Concern under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Where does a mountain imperial pigeon live?

The subspecies of the mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia (Raffles, 1822), are distributed close to or around southeast Asia.

While the habitat of Ducula badia badia is found to be native to Indonesia and Malaysia, the Ducula badia cuprea's habitat ranges along the Western Ghats of India from Goa to Kerala (India). On the other hand, Ducula badia insignis is found to reside in central Nepal, Bhutan, and the northeastern states of India.

Furthermore, the distribution of habitat of the Ducula badia griseicapilla ranges from northeast India, towards China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

What is a mountain imperial pigeon's habitat?

The mountain imperial pigeon habitat includes subtropical and tropical moist lowland forests, evergreen, deciduous, mangrove, subtropical, and tropical montane forests. The species of bird's range span goes as high as altitudes up to 7546 ft (2300 m). In winters, the birds descend to lower altitudes and they may also make local movements during their breeding season around March.

Who do mountain imperial pigeons live with?

The mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia, often lives in small flocks in the tropical and subtropical forest within its range around the world. While the bird prefers to live a solitary life, it is rarely found in a group of around 20 individuals, mostly near its breeding season.

How long does a mountain imperial pigeon live?

The mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia, is recorded to live up to six years and six months on average. On the other hand, a pink cockatoo is recorded to live as long as 83 years.

How do they reproduce?

The mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia, is a calling bird recorded to puff up its throats and sing, bowing to its potential mates. While the breeding season of the northern subspecies ranges between March to August, breeding in southern subspecies is recorded to take place from January to May.

The species nest either in the moist lowland or in the forest, and the size of the nest of the birds is considerably small and is a flimsy platform.

The bird lays a clutch of eggs comprising one or two eggs.

Both the parent birds incubate the mountain imperial pigeon egg until it hatches into a fledgling. Furthermore, while the bird resides at a high altitude during the breeding season, it descends to lower altitudes in winter.

What is their conservation status?

The mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia, is categorized as Least Concern under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. While the species is fairly common, the population trend is reportedly decreasing and hence, is at risk of being endangered.

Some of the common causes of the mountain imperial pigeon, from genus Ducula, being at risk are habitat destruction, disturbance, and intrusions by humans, and the hunting or pet trade of the species.

Mountain Imperial Pigeon Fun Facts

What do mountain imperial pigeons look like?

The mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia, is a large imperial species of bird from the order Columbiformes. It has a long tail, and broad and round wings with slow wing-beats. While the head, neck, and underparts are gray in color, its hindneck, legs, and feet are pink.

It has a white throat. On the other hand, its wings and upper parts are maroon-brown in color but the tail is black with a blue iridescence. The mountain imperial pigeon bill is long, red, and pointed with a white tip.

A bird with a gray head, brown upper parts, and a bright red bill.

How cute are they?

The species of mountain imperial pigeon with a red bill from the family Columbidae is one of the adorable species. It might not be bright, but its identification is quite easy with its red bill having a whitish tip. The species is quite common and adds to the beauty of nature.

How do they communicate?

The mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia, communicates using vocalizations. It is a song-singing bird, while the calls and cries of the bird are quite common within its range. While the call sounds like a resonant hoot 'hu hoo', its song is deep sounding like 'ouh woo wooo'.

How big is a mountain imperial pigeon?

The size of the mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia, ranges between 17-20 in (43-51 cm), while the mountain imperial pigeon wingspan is not quantified. On the contrary, it is five times smaller than an ostrich, the longest bird in the world.

How fast can a mountain imperial pigeon fly?

The mountain imperial pigeon is found to reside up to altitudes as high as 7546 ft (2300 m) but the speed of the bird remains undeciphered. Its speed is speculated not to be more than that of a peregrine falcon.

How much does a mountain imperial pigeon weigh?

The mountain imperial pigeon weighs up to 11-23 oz (320-660 g) and is 30 times lighter than a kori bustard which is one of the heaviest birds.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The mountain imperial pigeon male and mountain imperial pigeon female do not have sex-specific names. However, it has several vernacular names like fahlbauch fruchttaube and carpophage à manteau brun.

What would you call a baby mountain imperial pigeon?

A mountain imperial pigeon baby does not have specific names either.

What do they eat?

The mountain imperial pigeon diet comprises fruits, berries, nutmegs, and figs, especially. Also, it is often recorded to drink on the ground.

Are they dangerous?

No, a mountain imperial pigeon does not pose any danger.

Would they make a good pet?

While a mountain imperial pigeon can be petted, it is preferred to avoid petting the bird and rather let them be free.

Did you know...

The mountain imperial pigeon has several vernacular names such as carpophage à manteau brun, Piccione imperiale montano, dúcula dorsicastaña, and fahlbauch fruchttaube. It is also known as the maroon-backed imperial pigeon or Hodgson's imperial pigeon.

Do mountain imperial pigeons migrate?

No, the mountain imperial pigeon does not migrate rather it makes small movements to breed and feed. Also, it is recorded to descend downwards during winters.

Are pigeons arboreal?

Yes, pigeons are speculated to be arboreal, meaning they are found residing on trees.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these savannah sparrow facts and canyon wren facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Mindoro imperial pigeon coloring pages.

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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

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Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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