This dark, arboreal, fruit-eating pigeon serves as the “standard large, hot- country pigeon” of the lowlands and foothills of Mexico and Central America ( Oberholser 1974c : 412). Distribution of this tropical pigeon does extend north far enough to include the lower Rio Grande valley, with but a slight presence in the United States in Texas. This species' bill is bicolored—red on the base and cere, with a more noticeable yellow tip, characters referenced by both its common (Red-billed) and scientific (flavirostris = “yellow bill”) names.
The Red-billed Pigeon's life history remains poorly documented, with the most extensive contributions those of Alexander Skutch ( Skutch 1964 , and repeated in Skutch Skutch 1983a , Skutch 1991 ), who was able to make observations of breeding individuals in Costa Rica. Much of this species' biology is likely similar to other Columba pigeons which usually lay a single-egg clutch. The biology of the Band-tailed Pigeon (C. fasciata; Keppie and Braun 2000 ) provides a general model of life history and biology that can be applied to the Red-billed Pigeon as an overall description of behavior and breeding. The Red-billed Pigeon is sometimes sympatric with the Band-tailed Pigeon in northeastern and central Mexico, but Red-billed Pigeons occur at lower elevations and Band-tailed Pigeons generally inhabit dry montane forests.