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.