Bleeding-heart dove


Scientific name: Gallicolumba luzonica

Country: Philippines

Continent: Asia

Diet: Fruits - frugivore, seeds - granivore, insects - insectivore

Habitats: Tropical rainforest

Conservation status Mindanao bleeding heart dove is Endangered; the Luzon bleeding heart dove is near threatened.

Relatives: Imperial pigeon, dodo

Description: The name 'bleeding-heart' comes from the patch of red on the breast of these birds. Otherwise they are grey above and paler buff below. Bleeding-heart doves live only in the Philippines. These isolated populations evolved gradually into five separate species, all of which live in forested areas. Two of the five species live on moderately large islands and have evolved further into separate sub-species, divided by different environmental conditions.

Lifestyle: This is a dove that spends much of its time on the ground among the dead leaves, looking for food. Generally they live in dense forest.

Growing up: The Luzon bleeding heart dove lays two eggs are laid, which hatch after about fourteen days. Like other pigeons and doves, for the first few days the chicks are fed a rich milky fluid that the adult bird produces in its crop (the first part of the digestive system). Then, after a few days the chicks graduate to solid food such as fruits and seeds.

Pigeons and doves drink in a different way to other birds: they submerge their beak in water, suck the water up and swallow, without the need to raise the head between sips.

Conservation news: Habitat conservation is a priority but it will also be necessary to bring some of the three other species of bleeding heart doves (Negros, Sulu and Mindoro) into captivity, to prevent their extinction.

Only two of the five species of bleeding heart doves are held in captivity at present: the Luzon and the Mindanao.