Luzon bleeding-heart

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Luzon bleeding-heart
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Gallicolumba
Species: G. luzonica
Binomial name
Gallicolumba luzonica
(Scopoli, 1786)

The Luzon bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba luzonica) is one of a number of species of ground dove in the genus Gallicolumba that are called "bleeding-hearts". The Luzon Bleeding-heart is the species in which the "blood" feature is most pronounced, with the reddish hue extending down the belly, furthering the illusion of blood having run down the bird's breast.


Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park

On its upper surfaces, the Luzon bleeding-heart is slate grey in colour, but because it is iridescent, it can appear to be purple, royal blue, or bottle-green, and the apparent colour varies with lighting conditions. The belly and under wing areas are buff or chestnut. As in most pigeons, there is little sexual dimorphism; males tend to be larger and have a more pronounced red patch, while females are slightly duller. The body shape is typical of the genus, with a round body, a short tail and long legs.


The species is endemic to the island of Luzon, Philippines. It has a local name of puñalada.

Three subspecies are known. Gallicolumba luzonica luzonica is found on the central and southern parts of the large island of Luzon, and the neighbouring small Polillo Islands. The subspecies of Gallicolumba luzonica griseolateralis is found on the Northern part of Luzon while Gallicolumba luzonica rubiventris is found exclusively on Catanduanes Island. Gallicolumba luzonica rubiventris or known as Catanduanes bleeding-heart has only single collected specimen in 1971; this subspecies is very rare as it is believed to be near extinction or already extinct.

It lives in primary or secondary forest, and can be found at altitudes varying from sea level up to 1400 metres. They eat seeds, berries and grubs. They are shy and secretive, and very quiet, and rarely leave the ground except when nesting. Unlike the other bleeding-hearts, they usually lay two eggs in each clutch.

Conservation Status[edit]

Currently, the Luzon Bleeding-heart is listed as Near-Threatened by the IUCN. This is due to the species being threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation through deforestation for timber extraction and agricultural lands. It is also commonly trapped as a pet for its striking plumage.[2]

A captive breeding project has been started in Australia.[citation needed]

The Luzon bleeding-heart was featured on a Philippine 2-peso postage stamp in 1994.

Luzon bleeding-Heart at Taronga Zoo, Sydney. Taken November 2013

In popular culture[edit]

Hatoful Boyfriend, a visual novel/dating sim in which all of the characters except the player are birds, notably features a Luzon bleeding-heart character named Anghel. This character is initially the subject of much concern, as characters who are unfamiliar with Luzon plumage fear that he has a gaping chest wound.

In the 1968 heist comedy Diamonds for Breakfast, an apparently naturalized flock of bleeding heart pigeons (feeding on bread crumbs around a water fountain) inspires the brains of the heist to use trained turtle doves as diamond-smuggling devices.

Luzon Bleeding Heart is the name of a Rock band from Leicestershire, England.

Bleeding Heart Pigeons is also the name of a Rock band from Limerick, Ireland.[3]

The Bleeding Heart Pigeon was also the inspiration for the name of a SE Asia based publishing firm.[4]


External links[edit]