Feeding Spotted Dove: 20. Intelligent feeding II

The earlier post on intelligent feeding describes how the Spotted Doves (Streptopelia chinensis) flew to a nearby vine to then fly back to the feeder. Landing on the feeder base provided the force to shake the birdseeds out of the bottle when the level of birdseeds was below the basal ring of punctured holes LINK. This was when the feeder was placed such that its base was about a metre from the vine above. The doves then made regular flights up the vine and down to the feeder to shake the birdseeds out of the bottle.

A month later, the feeder was moved further away from the vine. Initially, when the supply of birdseeds was low, the doves continued to make the flights to the vine (above left) and back (above right), although the latter was now about 3 metres from feeder base to vine. However, after a few days of this, a dove was spotted flying off from the feeder to immediately turn round to land back on the base (below). A few of this short flights were alternated with a longer flight to the vine. At times the dove simply jumped up to land back on the base.

The shaking of the birdseeds out of the bottle allowed the Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) an opportunity to feed. These sparrows always flew in whenever a dove lands on the feeder base.

Thanks to Lena Chow who reminded me that even a point-and-shoot digital cameras can make video documentations, I tried and succeeded, although not as clear as it should be. My apologies for the poor quality video, my first try, but it shows what happened better than descriptions or even images. The background sound is noise from the ongoing roadwork. Note that the dove first flew to the vine and back. Towards the end of the video, it made two short flights, turning around and landing on the feeder base.

YC Wee
Singapore
September 2011

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