Pink-necked Green Pigeon swallows MacArthur palm fruits

on 20th February 2010

Howard Banwell sent in a photo sequence of a female Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) swallowing fruits of the MacArthur Palm (Ptychospermum macarthurii) taken at Singapore’s Seletar Air Base on 15th February 2010.

“We watched her and her mate eating numerous fruits one after the other, but no sign of regurgitation of the seed or skin,” wrote Howard.

An earlier post shows the male Pink-necked Green Pigeon swallowing the same fruit. However, the current post shows the complete sequence of swallowing.

Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier), which has a smaller gape than the pigeon, similarly swallows the fruit whole. Details of the fruit in cross-section showing the pulp and seed can be seen HERE.

It is very possible that the seeds may be passed out after going through the digestive system, as it is relatively small compared to the size of the fruit. But we have yet to be fully convinced that the seeds are not subsequently regurgitated.

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

One Response

  1. Unlike Imperial pigeons, the green pigeons can grind up seeds in their muscular gizzards. From dissections of window-killed birds we know that small seeds are totally destroyed, but a large, hard, palm seed would be more difficult, so any observations of intact seeds in droppings or regurgitates would be valuable.


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