Band-tailed Pigeon at El Carmen

Large pigeons flying above ground-level in our area are almost exclusively the handsome Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris). The common Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) no longer nests at the church and you have to descend to the larger towns of Santa Rosa and Turrialba to find it. It was therefore not much of a surprise to find as many as 13 Red-billed in just one tree at El Carmen on my walk down to El Banco this week. This species is quite common in all the northern half of the country up to an elevation of around 2000 m.

pigeon-red-billed-santa-rosa-garden

Called locally the purple pigeon (la paloma morada), this beautiful Red-billed Pigeon was photographed in John Beer’s garden in nearby Santa Rosa

A big surprise, however, was a lone Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata) that flew by just below El Carmen. This species is seen only occasionally below 1400 m but I had a good view of one of the key field marks, its white nape band. I always think it really should be called the White-naped Pigeon! I have previously seen it only at higher elevations on the volcano slope but it has been reported locally, though infrequently, in Aquiares and in Verbena. This is the nearest sighting to my patch so far, for me.

Photo to be added soon!!

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