Arrival of the Jambu Fruit Dove

on 1st January 2008


Jambu Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus jambu) is an uncommon non-breeding visitor. Apparently it visits any time of the year. Thus when a pair was sighted on 19th December 2007, news spread wide and fast. Photographers and birders flocked to the Japanese Garden in Jurong, the former to record the event and the latter to gawk at the birds.

The strikingly handsome male with a crimson face and a pink patch on the upper breast is shown above. The less striking but just as attractive female, shown below, is about to swallow the salam (Syzygium polyanthum) fruit. In the crop the flesh is stripped off and the seed sent on its way to be ejected at the other end of the bird.


This year’s arrival of the doves coincided with the fruiting of the salam tree, a common roadside tree whose fruits are a favourite with birds. A single male bird was sighted last year in another such fruiting tree nearby. The fruits of the salam obviously provide much needed sustenance to these birds after their long flight.

Normally found in forests, this fruit eating dove congregate in the crowns of small trees making up the lower to middle storey. Their appearance in a park thus allowed photographers excellent opportunities to get their perfect shots.

Input by YC, Meng and Melinda Chan; images by Meng.

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

5 Responses

  1. The image of the dove shows it swallowing a salam, Syzygium polyanthum. And Syzygium is a genus that jambu belongs, like jambu batu, j. bol, j. wangi… I am not sure exactly which jambu the dove is named after. Maybe someone can clarify…

  2. Pingback: fruit chan

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