Green Imperial Pigeons Spotted at Pasir Ris Park

“The Green Imperial Pigeon (Ducula aenea) is listed as a rare non-breeding visitor in Singapore. I was fortunate to come across a pair at Pasir Ris Park on the morning of 21st Jan 2012.

“From a distance, against the rising morning sun, I spotted the pair’s silhouette. They were resting on separate branches on a tall barren tree (above). My first thought was that they could be raptors due to their huge physical size. However, I realised that they were pigeons after viewing them from favourable lighting from the other side of the tree. But they were large; much larger than the commonly seen Spotted Doves (Streptopelia chinensis) and Rock Pigeons (Columba livia).

“Not knowing what species they were, I captured their images with the limited reach of my 300 mm lens. The attached images were heavily cropped but were sufficient to show some details of their plumage. The upperparts including wings were an attractive metallic green. The head, neck and lower parts were a very light grey that was almost white. Correct me if I’m wrong; after some searching and comparison of images from the web, the pair was identified as Green Imperial Pigeons.

“Please note the greenish plumage of the bird on the left (above left) seemed to be lighter and brighter than the bird on the right (above right). The bird on the left was preening and later seen gaping widely. It had its eye lids closed for a brief moment when its bill was gaping for that short one-second duration. The birds did not remain for long. I had less than ten minutes before they flew off.

“It was a brief but exciting encounter; my first new species for 2012.”

Kwong Wai Chong
29th January 2012

  1. John Lynn

    Back in 2003-4 Ivor and me photographed a pair of IGP on P Tekong. It’s good to know there is now record sightings on the mainland.

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