Mackinlay's cuckoo-dove

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Mackinlay's cuckoo-dove
MacKinlay’s Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia mackinlayi) (15716376852).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Macropygia
Species: M. mackinlayi
Binomial name
Macropygia mackinlayi
Ramsay, 1878

The Mackinlay's cuckoo-dove (Macropygia mackinlayi), also known as the spot-breasted cuckoo-dove, is a species of bird in the family Columbidae. It is found in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. It is rated as a species of least concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Endangered Species.[1]


The species is named after the Scottish naturalist Archibald Mackinlay.[2]


The Mackinlay's cuckoo-dove is a small greyish brown or reddish brown cuckoo-dove; these two distinct color morphs are unique among pigeons.[3] It measures 27 to 31 cm (11 to 12 in) in length, and weighs about 87 grams (3.1 oz).[4] It has a relatively short beak. The breast feathers have black bases and are bifurcated, the lack of the feather tip exposing adjoining feather bases and giving the breast a spotted appearance.[5] The juvenile is barred, and similar to the female Mackinlay's cuckoo-dove or the juvenile Ambonya cuckoo-dove (Macropygia amboinensis).[5]

The Mackinlay's cuckoo-dove is similar in appearance to the slender-billed cuckoo-dove which is relatively larger, has a longer beak, and its upperparts are darker brown than the buffier underparts. In females of that species, the breast is barred with black above and across, and the breast feathers do not bifurcate.[5]

It is also similar to the bar-tailed cuckoo-dove (Macropygia nigrirostris) which is slightly larger than it is and has richer reddish brown plumage but not the paler head and underparts of the Mackinlay's cuckoo-dove. The underparts of the female bar-tailed cuckoo-dove are rufous-buff but the feathers are not bifurcated and the breast lacks the black speckling of Mackinlay's cuckoo-dove.[5]

Status and conservation[edit]

Since 1998, the Mackinlay's cuckoo-dove has been rated as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. This is because it has a very large range—more than 20,000 km2 (7,700 mi2)—and because it has a stable population trend. Also, although its population numbers have not been determined, they are thought to be above 10,000, which is above the criterion to warrant a vulnerable rating. It is thought to be commonly found on most islands of its range, but it is rarely found on New Britain and on Aneityum. There are no major threats thought to be to this species.[1]


  1. ^ a b c BirdLife International (2012). "Macropygia mackinlayi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Boelens, Bo; Watkins, Michael (2003). Whose Bird?: Common Bird Names and the People They Commemorate. Yale University Press. p. 217. ISBN 0-300-10359-X. 
  3. ^ Dutson, Guy (2011). Birds of Melanesia: Bismarcks, Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 306. ISBN 9781408152461. 
  4. ^ Baptista, L.F.; Trail, P.W.; Horblit, H.M. (2017). del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi; Christie, David A; de Juana, Eduardo, eds. "Mackinlay's Cuckoo-dove (Macropygia mackinlayi)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 2017-09-21. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ a b c d Gibbs, David (2010). Pigeons and Doves: A Guide to the Pigeons and Doves of the World. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 276–277. ISBN 9781408135556. 

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