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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Red-billed Pigeon -- Columba flavirostris

RANGE: Breeds in the lower and middle Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas south through Mexico into Central America; mostly absent in winter.

STATUS: Local and uncommon.

HABITAT: Inhabits semiarid woodlands near water. In Texas, it is found in river thickets containing tall timber and a thick undergrowth of thorny shrubs including ebony blackbead, huisache, mesquite, baldcypress, great leucaena, Mexican ash, elm, black willow, and hackberry. Often perches on exposed bare branches high in trees.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Tall dense brush with small patches of tall trees.

NEST: Nests 8 to 30 feet above ground on a horizontal tree branch, in a clump of small branches, or in a tree concealed by a tangle of vines or brush.

FOOD: Forages high in the crowns of trees and in stubble fields on a diet that includes fruits of hackberries, condalia, and wild grape; acorns; and waste grains.

REFERENCES: Bent 1932, Oberholser 1974a, Terres 1980.

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