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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Bridled Quail-Dove Geotrygon mystacea

Clint W. Boal
Version: 1.0 — Published September 16, 2011


Distribution in the Americas

Steadman et al. (2009) suggests Bridled Quail-Doves persist only as scattered remnant populations. The species is considered a generally uncommon or rare resident across its distribution, which includes Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and southward among most of the Lesser Antilles (Raffaele et al. 1998). It is considered extremely rare in Puerto Rico and Vieques Island and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Raffaele et al. 1998). In the British Virgin Islands, Bridled Quail-Doves are present in remnant forest on Tortola and are common on Guana Island, possibly the only place where they can be considered as such (Chipley 1991, Lazell 2005). They can be found among the Lesser Antilles except for Anguilla, Barbados, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, and Grenada (Raffaele et al. 1998). They were thought to be absent from St. Martin until Brown and Newman (2007) recently confirmed their presence. Dispersal between islands has not been documented for this species; such movements are possible, but would be difficult to detect due to the lack of banding and telemetry data.

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Bridled Quail-Doves are occupants of densely forested mountain areas with dense understory and heavy leaf litter (Raffaele et al. 1998). They are typically found in drainages and along slopes (Robertson 1962, Diamond 1973, Chipley 1991, McNair et al. 2005), but also may forage in leaf litter under forests of sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera) just above the high-tide lines of level beach areas (Boal unpublished data).

Historical changes

Bridled Quail-Dove is considered extremely rare in Puerto Rico and Vieques Island (Raffaele et al. 1998) but there are no quantitative historical data to assess trends. Steadman et al. (2009) contends that Bridled Quail-Dove once was common and widespread throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands and Lesser Antilles, but currently is present only as scattered remnant populations. On St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bridled Quail-Dove initially suffered high mortality from the introduced Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) through nest or direct predation, but appears to have adapted to its presence by the early 1960s (Seaman and Randall 1962). The already small population of Bridled Quail-Dove was thought to have been either dramatically reduced or possibly extirpated from St. Croix following Hurricane Hugo in 1989 (Wauer and Wunderle 1992); more recent surveys have revealed it either persisted or has become reestablished (Rodrigues 2002, McNair et al. 2005). Little information is available, but the species appears to be absent from most of the British Virgin Islands; it can regularly be seen in small numbers at Sage Mountain on Tortola, and is abundant on privately owned Guana Island (Chipley 1991, Lazell 2005). There are no historical data for comparison, but Bridled Quail-Doves currently are reported as uncommon to rare across the Lesser Antillean islands were they persist.

Fossil history

Little information is available. Bond (1963) suggested Bridled Quail-Dove was derived from Key West Quail-Dove (Geotrygon chrysia) and had spread east and south across the Antilles.

Distribution of the Bridled Quail-Dove - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Bridled Quail-Dove

Recommended Citation

Boal, C. W. (2011). Bridled Quail-Dove (Geotrygon mystacea), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.brqdov1.01