There appear to be inconsistencies in the naming of Pacific Emerald Dove and
Common Emerald Dove. At least some birders have adopted the name Pacific
(Chalcophaps longirostris) for birds from eastern Australia and Lord Howe
Island etc, and Common (Chalcophaps indica) for birds from the Top End. This
would seem to be a logical thing to do. However, according to both bird
guide books Pizzey & Knight and Simpson & Day, the former race longirostris
applies to birds from the Top End. If so, the abovementioned naming practice
would seem to be back to front.
So, has someone got something wrong? Was it the guide books, who some years
ago incorrectly reversed the locations of the 2 dove races? Or was it the
IOC, who accidentally ascribed the names Pacific and Common to the wrong
species? Certainly, the name Pacific should logically apply to the species
that inhabits the Pacific coast of Australia and adjacent islands.
A summary of some public information is set out below:
Chalcophaps indica - race rogersi (formerly chrysochlora) - eastern
Australia, Lord Howe Is - picture shows plain green back.
Chalcophaps indica - race longirostris - Kimberley & Top End - picture shows
grey & white bars on back.
IOC Checklist 3.1
4859. Common Emerald Dove - Chalcophaps indica - OR, AU - widespread.
4866. Pacific Emerald Dove - Chalcophaps longirostris - AU - Australasia.
Birding for Devils
366 - 14 Feb - Common Emerald Dove - Christmas Island
130 - 19 Jan - Pacific Emerald Dove - Lake Eacham, Qld
M Roderick on B.Aus
re: Emerald Doves, but as far as I understand it C. indica ("Common") occurs
in the Top End and Kimberley and this species also ranges into SE Asia.
whereas C. longirostris ("Pacific") is the one found on the East Coast of
Australia and Pacific Islands (including Lord Howe). C. natalis (from
Christmas Island) is retained as a subspecies of (presumably) C. indica.
Hoping that someone out there can bring all this to the attention of those
If I could tick both species I wouldn't be so concerned, but as I can only
tick one, I do need to know which one.
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