Purple-winged ground dove

South America


Claravis geoffroyi


As its preferred bamboo dwellings in the Atlantic Forest is being turned into human settlements and agricultural plantations, this species has limited nest options and food resources, causing a huge drop in numbers.

So few individuals have been observed in the last two decades that the Purple-winged Ground-dove’s long-term survival is now in question. They were once relatively common, with historical reports of flocks of almost 100 individuals. Despite considerable efforts only two records are known from recent years. This nomadic, bamboo-seed specialist ground-dove appears to survive in very low numbers, moving among patches of flowering bamboos within the highly fragmented Atlantic forest in South America. The male has slate-blue plumage and deep maroon banding on his wings. The female is a much duller brown in colour. The birds apparently once followed the multi-annual flowering cycles of mast-seeding bamboos in the Atlantic forest of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, travelling from patch to patch as the bamboos flowered and died. However, the Atlantic forest has diminished rapidly over the last century with thousands of square kilometres being cleared for plantations and infrastructure, which has interrupted the natural movements of this ground-dove among flowering bamboo patches.

The Purple-Winged Ground Dove prefers to stay near flowering bamboo stands of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay because the bamboo seeds are its main source of nutrients. This ground-dove bird species would even be willing to travel within the massively-sized forest – alone, with a partner, or in flocks – in search of this specific food item.

Males and females have blue-coloured and brown-coloured upper body parts, respectively but have the same purplish-hued wing bands although it is paler for the females. Both have black bills with white-tinted face, belly, and throat. It is brown legs for females and red legs for males.