• Trocaz Pigeon 


Scientific name
Columba trocaz (Heineken, 1829)

Taxonomic Status
Endemic Species of Archipelago of Madeira

Red Data Book Status


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  • Identification

A big pigeon that can be distinguished by the dark grey and purple plumage, reddish-purple breast and pale grey subterminal band on the tail. Other Identification features are the red bill, pale yellow eye and the red legs. 

  • Voice

A sound similar to a huu-huu-hoooo…

  • Ecology

The habitat of the species is the laurel forest, using trees or cavities in cliffs to nest. The specie lays only one egg and rarely more than one. The diet is mainly   frugivorous but also leaves and flowers are present. A large number of birds use agricultural land to feed.

  • Distribution

The Trocaz Pigeon is endemic to Madeira Island. The bird is spread all around the island, but is on the island's mountainous northern slopes that are more common.
In the beginning of the colonization it was a very abundant but in 1986 the numbers were around 2,700 birds this fact was mainly because of the hunting pressure. Since 1986 the hunting of the specie was forbidden and the population recovered rapidly. In the last decades the species show to be widespread throughout many of the areas where it was before. Recent reports indicate that the population is over 10,000 individuals.


The species is restricted to Madeira Island but there are some evidences that in past was present on Porto Santo Island.


  • Trocaz Pigeon Sightings

Trocaz Pigeon Video 



February 2012 - Madeira Island © Birds & Company


 August 2012 - Madeira Island © Birds & Company

  • Literature

[1] Oliveira, P.; Jones, M.; Caires, D.; Menezes, D. 1999. Population trends and status of the Madiera Laurel Pigeon Columba trocaz. Bird Conservation International 9: 387-395.

[2] Oliveira, P.; Marrero, P.; Nogales, M. 2002. Diet of the endemic Madeira Laurel Pigeon and fruit resource availability: a study using microhistological analyses. Condor 104: 811-822.

[3] Oliveira, P.; Menezes, D.; Jones, M.; Nogales, M. 2006. The influence of fruit abundance on the use of forest and cultivated field habitats by the endemic Madeira Laurel Pigeon Columba trocaz: implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 130: 538-548.

[4] Oliveira, P.; Menezes, D.; Sepulveda, P. 2007. Population trends of the Madeira laurel pigeon between 1986 and 2006.


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