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7 Fascinating Facts About the Bare-Eyed Pigeon

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is a common bird species found in a variety of habitats, including forests, savannas, and urban areas. It is known for its striking appearance, with a distinctive bare patch of skin around the eye.

In this article, we will learn more about the identification, plumage, and molts of this fascinating bird species.

Identification

Field Identification

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is a medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 30 centimeters in length with a wingspan of around 60 centimeters. Its most distinctive feature is the bare, bright pink patch of skin surrounding its eye.

This feature gives the bird its name and makes it easily identifiable in the field. The rest of the bird’s plumage is generally grayish-brown, with a whitish belly and undertail coverts.

Similar Species

The Bare-eyed Pigeon can be easily confused with other pigeon and dove species, especially in areas where multiple species occur. One species that is frequently confused with the Bare-eyed Pigeon is the Ruddy Pigeon, which has a similar appearance but lacks the bare patch of skin around the eye.

Another similar species is the Plain-breasted Ground Dove, which has a similar grayish-brown plumage and a distinctive pinkish bill. However, the Bare-eyed Pigeon can be distinguished from these and other similar species by its bare eye patch.

Plumages

The Bare-eyed Pigeon has a fairly consistent plumage throughout its life, with only minor variations in coloration and patterning. Juvenile birds have a slightly duller plumage than adults, with less distinct markings and a yellower bill.

However, these differences are generally not noticeable to the untrained eye.

Molts

Like all birds, the Bare-eyed Pigeon goes through periodic molts as it grows and develops. This process involves the shedding of old feathers and the growth of new ones, and can have a significant impact on the bird’s plumage.

The Bare-eyed Pigeon undergoes two molts each year, once in the spring and again in the fall. During these molts, the bird’s old feathers are gradually replaced by new ones, and the overall appearance of the bird’s plumage can change slightly.

However, these changes are generally subtle and will not affect the bird’s overall identification.

Conclusion

In summary, the Bare-eyed Pigeon is a fascinating bird species known for its distinctive bare eye patch. It is a common bird found in a variety of habitats, and is easily identifiable in the field.

While the species exhibits some minor variations in plumage based on age and molts, its overall appearance remains fairly consistent throughout its life. By learning more about this species, bird enthusiasts can gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the avian world.

of knowledge article, as the purpose is to provide factual information about the Bare-eyed Pigeon (Patagioenas corensis).

Systematics History

The Bare-eyed Pigeon belongs to the family Columbidae, which includes over 300 species of pigeons and doves. The species was first described by Charles Bonaparte in 1855.

Over the years, there have been various taxonomic revisions to the species, including changes to its genus and species name. Currently, it is classified as Patagioenas corensis.

Geographic Variation

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is found throughout much of Central and South America, from Mexico to Argentina. Within this range, there is some geographic variation in the species’ appearance, particularly in the intensity of its plumage coloration.

Birds in the northern part of the range tend to have a paler gray coloration, while those in the southern part of the range are darker and more brownish-gray in color.

Subspecies

There are currently three recognized subspecies of the Bare-eyed Pigeon, which are differentiated primarily based on their geographic distribution. – Patagioenas corensis corensis: Found in northern and western South America, from Colombia to Venezuela and Peru.

– Patagioenas corensis albipennis: Found in northeastern South America, from Guyana to Brazil and Paraguay. – Patagioenas corensis griseinucha: Found in central and southern South America, from Bolivia to Argentina and Uruguay.

These subspecies differ slightly in their plumage coloration, with birds in the griseinucha subspecies being the darkest overall.

Related Species

The Bare-eyed Pigeon belongs to a group of closely related species known as the New World Ground-doves. This group includes around 30 species of small, terrestrial doves found throughout Central and South America.

Many of these species share similar plumage patterns and habits, making them difficult to distinguish from one another. However, the Bare-eyed Pigeon is easily identifiable based on its distinctive bare eye patch.

Historical Changes to Distribution

The Bare-eyed Pigeon has a broad geographic distribution across Central and South America, but its range has undergone some changes over time. As with many bird species in the region, the species’ range has been impacted by habitat destruction and fragmentation.

In recent years, the species has been expanding its range northwards, possibly due to the effects of climate change. Some birds have been observed as far north as Texas and the Gulf Coast of the United States.

This expansion could also be related to the increasing availability of food sources in urban areas, where the species has adapted to nesting on buildings and feeding on human-provided food. At the opposite end of its range, the species has been impacted by habitat loss and fragmentation in South America.

In some areas, such as the Atlantic Forest of Brazil and the Chaco of Argentina, the species has experienced significant population declines due to deforestation and conversion of habitat for agriculture and other land uses.

Conservation Status

Despite its widespread distribution, the Bare-eyed Pigeon is considered to be a species of conservation concern due to habitat loss and fragmentation throughout its Southeastern range. The species is listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

The degradation of the species’ habitat is the primary threat to its survival, particularly in areas where deforestation and conversion of natural habitat to agriculture are occurring at a rapid rate. Conservation efforts for the species are focused on protecting its remaining habitat and promoting sustainable land use practices in areas where the species is found.

Increased habitat connectivity and restoration efforts could also help to support breeding populations and maintain healthy populations of the species over time.

Conclusion

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is a fascinating bird species found throughout much of Central and South America. While the species exhibits some geographic variation in plumage coloration, it is easily identifiable in the field thanks to its distinctive bare eye patch.

Like many bird species in the region, the Bare-eyed Pigeon has been impacted by habitat loss and fragmentation, particularly in its Southeastern range. Conservation efforts aimed at protecting the species’ habitat are essential for ensuring its long-term survival and helping to maintain the biodiversity of this unique group of birds.

of knowledge article, as the purpose is to provide factual information about the Bare-eyed Pigeon (Patagioenas corensis).

Habitat

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is a versatile species found in a variety of habitats throughout Central and South America. It can be found in both natural and human-altered habitats, including forests, savannas, agricultural areas, and urban areas.

The species’ adaptability has helped it to maintain stable populations in many areas despite ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation. In forested habitats, the Bare-eyed Pigeon is often found in the understory or mid-canopy, where it feeds on fruit and seeds.

The species has also adapted to urban areas in many regions, where it can be found foraging for food on buildings and in parks and gardens. In agricultural areas, the species is often found feeding on crops such as maize and millet.

Movements and Migration

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is primarily a resident species, meaning it does not undertake long-distance migrations. However, the species has been known to make local movements in response to resource availability and environmental conditions.

In some regions, the Bare-eyed Pigeon is known to exhibit seasonal movements in response to fluctuations in food availability. For example, in some areas of Brazil, the species has been observed moving from dry savanna habitats to wetter forested habitats during the rainy season to take advantage of the increased availability of fruit and other food sources.

In other regions, the species may temporarily move out of areas affected by seasonal droughts in search of more hospitable habitats. While the species may undertake short-distance movements, there is little evidence to suggest that the Bare-eyed Pigeon undertakes true migrations.

The species is generally considered to be a non-migratory resident species, with most individuals remaining in the same general area throughout the year.

Conservation Status

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is considered to be a species of conservation concern due to ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation throughout much of its range. However, the species is currently classified as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, due to the relatively high population size and geographic range of the species.

Conservation efforts for the species are focused on protecting its remaining habitat and promoting sustainable land use practices in areas where the species is found. In some regions, habitat restoration efforts are also being undertaken to increase connectivity between fragmented populations and promote breeding success.

In addition to habitat protection and restoration, efforts are also underway to better understand the biology and ecology of the species. This includes studies on the species’ movements, behavior, and population dynamics, as well as genetic studies to better understand the genetic diversity and structure of populations throughout the species’ range.

Conclusion

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is a fascinating bird species found in a variety of habitats throughout Central and South America. While the species is highly adaptable and has a wide geographic range, ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation present significant threats to its long-term survival.

Conservation efforts focused on protecting the species’ remaining habitat, promoting sustainable land use practices, and understanding the biology and ecology of the species are essential for ensuring its future survival and maintaining the rich diversity of bird species found throughout the Americas. of knowledge article, as the purpose is to provide factual information about the Bare-eyed Pigeon (Patagioenas corensis).

Diet and Foraging

Feeding

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is primarily a frugivorous species, meaning it eats primarily fruit. However, the species will also feed on seeds, flowers, and other plant material.

In areas where the species has adapted to human-dominated habitats, it may also feed on human-provided food, such as grains and processed foods.

Diet

The diet of the Bare-eyed Pigeon varies depending on its range and local habitat conditions. In forested habitats, the species feeds primarily on fruit, including figs, palms, and other fruit-bearing trees.

In savanna and agricultural habitats, the species may feed on crops such as maize and millet. The species has also been known to feed on nectar from flowers and occasionally eat insects.

Metabolism and Temperature Regulation

The Bare-eyed Pigeon has a relatively low metabolic rate and is capable of regulating its body temperature within a narrow range. Like other pigeon and dove species, the Bare-eyed Pigeon is able to thermoregulate by either exposing itself to direct sunlight or sheltering in shade to maintain optimal body temperature.

The species is also able to conserve water and maintain hydration through its efficient kidney function and by excreting highly concentrated urine.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Vocalization

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is a vocal bird species, with a variety of calls and vocalizations used for communication and marking territories. The species’ vocalizations are generally low-pitched and guttural, with variations in tone and pitch used to convey different messages.

During breeding season, males will often perform a display flight while calling to attract a mate. Females will respond with their own vocalizations, which may include soft coos and purrs.

Outside of breeding season, the species may be more vocal in the morning and evening, with calls used to maintain contact with flock mates or signal the presence of predators. In addition to calls, the Bare-eyed Pigeon also uses visual displays to communicate, such as puffing out its chest and cooing to signal aggression or dominance.

Conclusion

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is a fascinating bird species with unique behavioral adaptations and vocalizations that contribute to its success in a wide variety of habitats. The species’ frugivorous diet and efficient metabolism and temperature regulation allow it to thrive in its native range, while its vocalizations and behavioral displays are essential for communication and breeding success.

Conservation efforts aimed at protecting the species’ remaining habitat and promoting sustainable land use practices are essential for ensuring its long-term survival and maintaining the rich diversity of bird species found throughout Central and South America. of knowledge article, as the purpose is to provide factual information about the Bare-eyed Pigeon (Patagioenas corensis).

Behavior

Locomotion

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is a terrestrial bird species that primarily walks or runs on the ground. The species is not highly adapted for flight and is not capable of sustained flight for long distances.

However, the species is capable of short, fast flights to evade predators or move between foraging sites.

Self Maintenance

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is able to maintain its own personal hygiene through preening and dust bathing. The species preens its feathers using its beak, removing dirt and debris and redistributing oil across its feathers to maintain their waterproofing and insulating properties.

Dust bathing is also an important component of the species’ self-maintenance, where it will roll and fluff its feathers in dry soil or dust to remove excess grease and parasites.

Agonistic Behavior

Like many bird species, the Bare-eyed Pigeon exhibits agonistic behavior, particularly during breeding season. Males will engage in territorial displays to assert dominance and attract a mate.

These displays may include posturing, cooing, and flapping of the wings. Males will also engage in aggressive displays with other males, such as puffing out their chests, chasing, and pecking.

Sexual Behavior

During breeding season, males will perform a display flight and vocalize to attract a mate. Females will choose a mate based on the quality of his display and vocalizations.

Once paired, the male will help the female build a nest from twigs and other materials. The female will lay one or two eggs, which both parents will incubate for around 16-17 days.

After hatching, both parents will care for the young until they fledge at around 19-21 days of age. The species may produce multiple broods in a breeding season, up to three or four in some areas.

Breeding

The Bare-eyed Pigeon breeds throughout much of the year, with peak breeding activity occurring during the rainy season in some areas. During breeding season, males will engage in territorial displays to assert dominance and attract a mate.

These displays may include posturing, cooing, and flapping of the wings. Females will choose a mate based on the quality of his display and vocalizations.

Once paired, the male will help the female build a nest from twigs and other materials. The species will generally breed using loose, open-cup nests constructed in trees or shrubs.

The female will lay one or two eggs, which both parents will incubate for around 16-17 days. After hatching, both parents will care for the young until they fledge at around 19-21 days of age.

The species may produce multiple broods in a breeding season, up to three or four in some areas.

Demography and Populations

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is a widespread species found throughout Central and South America. While there is little information available on the species’ overall population size, it is generally considered to be a species of conservation concern due to ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation throughout much of its range.

In some regions, the species has experienced declines in population size due to habitat destruction and hunting. In areas of Brazil and Argentina, the species has experienced declines due to deforestation and conversion of habitat for agriculture and other land uses.

However, the species is still considered to be relatively abundant and widespread, with populations remaining stable in many areas. Conservation efforts for the species are focused on protecting its remaining habitat and promoting sustainable land use practices in areas where the species is found.

Increased habitat connectivity and restoration efforts could also help to support breeding populations and maintain healthy populations of the species over time. The Bare-eyed Pigeon (Patagioenas corensis) is a fascinating bird species found throughout Central and South America.

This pigeon is easily identifiable in the field due to its distinctive bare eye patch. The species exhibits a range of interesting behavioral adaptations, including vocalizations used for communication and behavioral displays used to assert dominance.

The Bare-eyed Pigeon is threatened by ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation caused by deforestation and other land-use policies in many areas. Therefore, conservation efforts aimed at protecting the species’ remaining habitat, promoting sustainable land use practices, and understanding the biology and ecology of the species are essential for ensuring its long-term survival and maintaining the rich diversity of bird species found throughout Central and South America.

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