Treron vernans, Pink-necked green Pigeon, Punai Gading

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Bali Bird with 0 Comments

Birds of Indonesia

Treron vernans,  Pink-necked green Pigeon, Punai Gading

Pink-necked GrTreron-vernans-01-400een Pigeons eat mainly fruits. Their colourful attire allows them to blend perfectly in the foliage of fruiting trees (can you spot the pigeon in the photo on the left?)

Figs are their favourite, but they also eat palm fruit and berries, and nibble on buds. In Sungei Buloh, their favourite food include the fruit of the Macaranga, Cherry Tree (Muntingia calabura), small banyan figs (Ficus benjamina), and Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum).

Like other Green Pigeons, they are arboreal and seldom come the ground except to drink, although they may snack on berries of low bushes.

Pink-necked Green Pigeons are the only Green Pigeons found commonly outside the primary forest. They prefer habitats with trees that provide fruits as well as a safe perch including mangroves, scrub, secondary forest, forest edge.

Pink-necked Green Pigeons forage most actively in the early morning. Although they may feed in flocks of up to 30 in a fruiting tree, males especially may defend small patches from others in the flock. Pink-necked Green Pigeons tend to roost together and a site may attract hundreds of birds from a wide area and become a traditional roost. Favoured roosting sites are tall trees in swamps and mangroves. But they nest alone and not in large colonies.

Pigeons and doves do not have well-developed oil glands, which in other birds are used to waterproof their feathers. Instead, they have special plumes scattered throughout their body which disintegrate to produce a powder which cleans and lubricates the feathers.

Breeding (late March to late July): The male Pink-necked is very handsome and colourful. The duller female is easily confused with those of other Green Pigeons and is best identified by her male consort who is usually nearby.

Like other pigeons, the nest is a flimsy platform of twigs. About 15-20 cm in diameter, and so thin that sometimes the contents can be seen from below! The male collects the nesting material and passes these on to the female to assemble. Pairs nest alone, preferring spots near open spaces, in bushes as low as 2m off the ground and up to 10m high in trees and palms.

1-2 white eggs are laid. Both parents take turns incubating them and both raise the young. Fledglings may remain near the nest for up to 1 week.

Migration? Although Pink-necked Green Pigeons may travel long distances to forage for food, they are quite sedentary and don’t migrate.

They are still hunted in parts of Asia, usually shot as they gathered in large flocks in the evening at their communal roosts. They are a particular favourite probably because, according to Tweedie, they are “just big enough to be worth cooking”. Besides this hunting pressure, they are probably also affected by the disappearance of their food trees.
Pigeon’s Milk

The most fascinating feature of pigeons and doves is their ability to produce crop milk. During breeding season, special glands in the crops of both males and females enlarge and secrete a thick milky substance. The chicks drink this milk by poking their bills into the parent’s throat.

Thus, pigeons and doves can feed their young without having to incessantly hunt or forage for food. Instead of laying many eggs, they lay one or at most two eggs. Their abundance is proof that this feature gives them the advantage.


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