Pink-necked Green Pigeon feeding fledglings

In July 2010, Janice Kuek posted her video of an adult pigeon feeding two juveniles that needed identification. Haniman Boniran responded, identifying the bird as Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) – a female feeding two fledglings.

The breast of the adult has a dark pattern that makes the identification questionable. According to Haniman, “The pattern is likely water or some kind of fruit juice that had trickled down the throat while she was regurgitating the crop contents to the chicks. Another explanation would be she soaked her throat feathers in water and let the chicks drink from there. The access water then trickle down the throat causing a ‘streak’ patterning of the throat feather.”

As the video was taken in Yishun Avenue 6 (Northern), Singapore on 23rd June 2010 at about 6.30 pm, Haniman’s identification and explanation are acceptable.

The video shows how pigeons and doves feed their chicks and fledglings. The chicks and fledglings peck the adult’s bill to stimulate it to open its bill. Once opened, the chicks take turns forcing their bills into the mouth to receive crop milk. Crop milk or pigeon milk is a high protein substance secreted from the crop. Such a feeding strategy allows the adults to remain in and around the nest with the chicks almost 24 hours a day, thus protecting the chicks from possible predation. In the case of fledglings they receive regurgitated food instead of crop milk – as pointed out by Haniman in his comment below.

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6 Responses

  1. […] Bird Ecology Study Group » Pink-necked Green Pigeon feeding fledglings besgroup.talfrynature.com/2010/08/04/pink-necked-green-pigeon-feeding-fledglings/ – view page – cached In July 2010, Janice Kuek posted her video of an adult pigeon feeding two juveniles that needed identification. Haniman Boniran responded, identifying the bird as Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) – a female feeding two Tweets about this link […]

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  2. I’m not quite certain if she was feeding the fledgings crop milk. At the risk of simplifying facts, crop milk is produced within the hatching period to give the chicks a head start in feeding as they are not ready to take solid food. The female will produce and feed the crop milk to the chicks for about two weeks before regurgitated solid food is introduced to the chicks.

    Can anyone else verify this as well?

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  3. You are right, Haniman. After fledging, the juveniles are fed regurgitated food. Thanks for the correction.

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  4. Sun Chong Hong

    I have downloaded the video and enjoyed viewing the feeding action in slow motion with the free vlc multimedia player. Viewing screen by screen (sbs), I could see the regurgitated food, both solid and liquid, given to the juveniles, quite clearly.
    .
    @29sec., the young one on our left took a regurgitated fruit. I missed seeing the drop while in slow motion. With sbs, I saw it dropped in 5 frames, which means a duration of about 0.2sec (the frame rate was 25 per sec).

    With sbs again, @34sec onwards, the viscous whitish liquid, which I think is the crop milk, can be seen in the adult’s bill. The one on our right took it, and withdrew from the adult’s bill @36sec. The tip of the young’s bill can be seen coated in the crop milk, with part of it trailing like a short fishing line.

    If you are interested, the free vlc player can be downloaded from http://www.videolan.org/ or http://download.cnet.com/windows/ .

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  5. I agree that Pigeons feed their chivks with crop milk. This is only in an early stage, that is inmmediately after hatching and a few days more. Later the graains that are swallowed by the parents are regurgitated in the same manner bu thrusting the beaks within their beaks and regurgitating. The Picture shows fledgelings, that is they are already fit enough to fly but not yet matured enough to lead a totally independent life. During this period also the parents feed the young by the same manner with foraged feed.
    This feeding behavior can also be noticed in ma
    ating pairs just before the mating .

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  6. Sun Chong Hong

    For reasons unknown, my earlier comments were submitted but not registered. Here are my comments again.

    I have downloaded the video and enjoyed viewing the feeding action in slow motion with the free vlc multimedia player.

    Using the frame by frame (fbf) feature, I could see the young ones being fed both solid and liquid food, quite clearly. @29 sec, the juvenile on our left took a fruit. I missed the drop while viewing in slow motion. With fbf, the drop was seen to last 5 frames, which was about 0.2sec duration since the frame rate of the video was 25 per sec.

    Again with fbf, @31sec, I could see the whitish staff, which I think was the crop milk, in the adult’s bill. The young one on our right took it and withdrew from the adult. @36sec, I saw the tip of the juvenile’s bill coated in the viscous crop milk, with part of it trailing like a short fishing line.

    If you are interested in the vlc multimedia player, you can download it from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ or http://download.cnet.com/windows/

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