The Mariana Fruit-Dove or "tottot" as it is called in Chamoru, once graced Guam's forests with its smooth cooing call and beautiful bright colors. Brown tree snake (kulepbla) predation, however, has caused its extinction on Guam, although an occasional sighting is still reported, especially after a storm hits Rota. The tottot is still found on other Mariana Islands from Rota to Saipan.
The tottot has a purple cap, yellow and orange breast and bright yellow tail band. Its feathers are mostly green which allows them to blend into the leaves of trees as they make short flights to look for food. They eat fruits such as figs, inkberry and papaya.
The tottot lays only one egg in a flimsy nest built in the fork of a branch. Like all doves, the young are fed a milky substance produced in the lining of the parent's throat sac or "crop". The young are later fed fruit that has been partially digested.
This shy, easily disturbed bird holds special meaning for Guam because it is our Territorial Bird, the symbol of our island.
The Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources hopes that one day, when the kulepbla population is controlled or eradicated, we will be able to reintroduce the tottot back into Guam's forests.
Information and picture taken from a pamphlet presented to students and teachers in May, 1994, by the Department of Agriculture's Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, in collaboratin with the Bureau of Planning's Coastal Management Program.
It has wings and it can fly But it doesn't wave bye, bye. To see it with the clouds above Fills my heart and soul with love. A lot of people love this thing But some will kill it with a sling. If I can only do something I'll save this creature that can sing. I bet you know what I'm saying About a bird with joy he brings. It symbolizes lots of things. One is freedom, one is spring. Tottot is a bird you see Around the island that's so pretty. It symbolizes our school, Upi, The place I go to learn, you see.