On 5th September 2009, Kwong Wai Chong encountered a pair of juvenile Peaceful Doves (Geopelia striata), also known as Zebra Doves (above left). One dove was mounting the other, probably its sibling (above right).
“I had discovered one of the birds and was capturing its image when it suddenly flew away to another tree. As I made my way there, I realised that there were two juvenile birds perched on the same branch. As I approached, one of the birds suddenly jumped on the other. For probably 3 seconds, it was on top of the other bird. I managed only one shot before they separated, leaving one on the branch.
“It cannot be ascertained whether there was actual mating contact. Were they playing? Or instinct at work? It is fascinating that these juvenile birds could behave in such a manner.”
Juvenile birds regularly imitate adults and play at mating. This was probably one such example. An earlier post shows a pair of juvenile Asian Glossy Starlings doing the same thing.