The Negros bleeding-heart pigeon (Gallicolumba keayi) is one of the interesting birds to see in the Philippines. Sadly, there aren’t so many of them in the wild nor in captivity. And if we’re not careful, there won’t be any of them left in the years to come.
The Philippines may be a small country in terms of area but it is big on natural resources. Its marine life is one of the richest in the world and it has the third highest number of endemic birds after Australia and Indonesia. Truly, there is so much to see in the country in terms of flora and fauna on top of all the scenic natural formations.
Find out what makes a Negros bleeding-heart pigeon interesting.
Endemic to Negros and Panay
This species calls the islands of Negros and Panay their home. In the early 2000s, Negros bleeding-heart pigeon has been sighted in Mount Kanlaon, Balinsasayaw Twin Lakes, southern Negros, and northwest Panay.
A very rare ground dove
Like most ground doves, this species favors the forest floor and makes nests in low epiphytic ferns. They are ground feeders, mostly feeding on plant materials and occasionally on ground invertebrates but they can also be seen feeding and nesting on bushes or vines. This natural tendency contributes to their vulnerability that further threatens their population.
Their population is critically endangered
Experts believe that there are only about 50 to 249 birds in existence and their population continues to decline due to hunting, pet trade, and habitat loss from illegal logging, forest conversion into farmland, mining, and road development.
The species got its name from the blood-red marking in the center of its white chest. The marking resembles a puncture wound but is narrower compared to other species of bleeding-hearts.
The crown, along with the nape and upper back is iridescent green while the rest of the upper part and wings are dark chestnut.
In 2007, the Center for Tropical Conservation Studies successfully bred one in captivity for the first time. Captive breeding is currently being undertaken with plans of reintroduction in the future.
READ MORE: Philippine Wildlife