Mountain pigeon

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Papuan Mountain Pigeon 3.jpg
Papuan mountain pigeon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Gymnophaps
Salvadori, 1874

Gymnophaps is a genus of bird in the pigeon family Columbidae; it includes four species, all called mountain pigeons. Mountain pigeons live in the forested hills and mountains of certain islands in eastern Indonesia and in the region of Melanesia. They are tree-dwellers and eat fruit. A remarkable aspect of these pigeons is that they have bright red skin around the eyes. Otherwise, they are dark gray on the back and wings, with paler heads and undersides. Males and females look mostly alike, though the female Papuan mountain pigeon has a grayer belly than the male. Mountain pigeons move around a lot and are often seen flying, usually in flocks of at least ten or as many as a hundred or more birds. They are not known to do a lot of loud cooing, rather their vocalizations are muted or wheezy when they make any noise at all.

The ranges of the four species do not overlap, so this genus is an example of probable allopatric speciation. Two species are island endemics: the Buru mountain pigeon is endemic to the Maluku Islands, and the pale mountain pigeon is endemic to the Solomon Islands. The Papuan mountain pigeon has a range in between the others; it lives on the island of New Guinea and on nearby smaller islands.