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ZEBRA DOVES – 1. Hatching of the first egg

on 31st July 2005

I have been observing the activities around the nest of a pair of Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) for the last two week (above left). Every evening at around 5pm, the bird in the nest flew out and its mate flew in to take over the incubation duty. The night shift bird would then sit on the eggs right up to the next morning without ever leaving the nest. At around daybreak there should be another shift change. But for the last two weeks I was not able to witness the morning shift change. I was wondering whether the birds were on 24 hours incubation duty.

Then this morning I had a pleasant surprise.

I wasn’t particularly keeping watch as in the past. At around 8 am when I was near the nest, the bird inside suddenly flew off. Within a few seconds its mate flew in. But instead of making itself comfortable in the nest, it picked up a piece of egg shell in its beak and immediately flew off (above right). Three minutes later it flew in minus the shell and settled in the nest.

This is the day I have been waiting for – the hatching of one of the two eggs. The bird kept bending its neck downwards, making feeding movements. As with pigeons and doves, the Zebra Doves feed their chicks with crop milk.

I am still keeping watch to see when the other egg would hatch.

YC Wee
Singapore
31st July 2005

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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