Peaceful Dove feeding juveniles with crop milk

posted in: Feeding strategy, Pigeon-Dove | 0

“At times it is a challenge to decide whether to take still images or videos. Both have their value and beauty. As I am predominantly handheld, I tend to do more stills. I was walking when two juvenile Peaceful Doves (Geopelia striata) flew past chasing an adult. They landed nearby in a thicket/dense tree. I have been keeping my Nikon D7000 on single point focus so was able to focus and take pictures through the foliage. I of course wish I had a clear field but I am delighted with the observation.

“Doves are known to be able to produce crop milk during the breeding season. The juveniles drink the ‘milk’ by putting their beak/bill inside the parents.

See: LINK 1 and LINK 2.

“Some observations:
1. At times this can be a ‘violent looking’ event, as shown by these pictures.
2. Both juveniles were already rather large but were still harassing the parents for crop milk (somewhat like the older infants and children I see in my clinical practice who still demanding mom breastfeed them at 2 years of age).
3. The bird on the left was successful at monopolising the feeding. The juvenile on the right tried desperately to get into the feeding action, even to the extent of climbing on top of the parent a number of times but to no avail (see top left).
4. In some of the close ups you can see the beak of juveniles almost hitting the eye of the parent (see above left).
5. In one close up you can actually see the crop ‘milk’ (see above right).
6. The entire feeding frenzy took less than 2 minutes.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
1st April 2011

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