The Luzon Blood-breast­ed Ground Pigeon (Gal­li­colum­ba luzon­i­ca) is a very shy and secre­tive species of pigeon native to the Philip­pine island of Luzon. The bird gets its unusu­al name from the bright red patch on their white chest that resem­bles a bleed­ing wound. The red­dish tint extends down the bel­ly, giv­ing the illu­sion of blood flow­ing through the bird’s body. The red patch is slight­ly more pro­nounced in male Luzon pigeons. Dur­ing courtship, the male puffs up his chest to empha­size his red patch.

The short-tailed and long-legged exclu­sive­ly ter­res­tri­al bird has blue-gray wings and a head with a black­ish beak. Since their feath­ers shim­mer in the sun, they can appear pur­ple, blue, or dark green — the col­or changes depend­ing on the light­ing con­di­tions. The edges of the wings are marked with three dark red-brown stripes. Their throat, chest and under­parts are part­ly white, with lighter pink feath­ers sur­round­ing the red area on the chest. Females and males of the Luzon dove are very sim­i­lar in appear­ance and dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish from each oth­er.

The Luzon pigeon spends most of its time on the grass cov­er, pick­ing up seeds, fall­en fruit, and small insects among the fall­en leaves. The bird leaves the ground and flies to the trees only for rest and sleep. They build their nests in low trees, or in shrubs and creep­ers, not very far from the ground. Def­i­nite­ly, this is one of the most unusu­al and beau­ti­ful birds in the wild.

The blood-chest­ed pigeon is a very shy bird that is dif­fi­cult to observe in its nat­ur­al habi­tat. They live on three islands in the north­ern Philip­pines, includ­ing Luzon, with the largest iso­lat­ed pop­u­la­tion, and Polil­lo Island, where a small pop­u­la­tion of these rare birds has recent­ly been redis­cov­ered.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the bird is being mod­er­ate­ly dec­i­mat­ed as a result of habi­tat loss caused by defor­esta­tion for tim­ber and agri­cul­tur­al expan­sion. In addi­tion, the bird is vul­ner­a­ble to hunters and often falls into the traps of local res­i­dents who use the dove as a pet.

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