Peaceful (Zebra) Dove: 1. Nest building to incubation

posted in: Nesting, Pigeon-Dove | 0

“We have had Peaceful Doves (Geopelia striata) nest in our garden twice before but usually spotted them once the nest had been vacated. This time we have spotted them in the “nest locating’ phase (see timelines below).

“A pair of Peaceful Doves have built a nest 2.3 meters up in our Bauhinia kokiana. The Bauhinia kokiana is a creeper that we have grown on the archway to where we park our cars. We have used metal hooks in the wall to offer a foothold to the plant. It runs horizontally at the top with some branching offering a small ‘platform’ for the birds.

“Above the nest is a small ledge that offers protection to the nest from the sun and rain. Anteriorly the nest is well camouflaged by the leaves of the creeper (above left). The nest is just about 0.6 meters from my eye level and we can see the incubating bird eye-to-eye from a number of views. The incubating bird has been very comfortable with our presence and viewing, as long as it is from below (above right). We can go up to the flat part of our roof and view the nest at 0.3 meters distance but this disturbs the bird. So very limited pictures of the nest from above and these are only taken when we know the bird has left the nest (so far only taken images once from above).

There is limited information on the breeding cycle of the Peaceful Dove locally (see Dr Wells 1999) so we have tried to observe as much as possible.

25-29/01/2012 Nest site exploration

“Spotted the pair in our garden, at least three times, looking for locations to nest. Came twice to the Bauhinia kokiana site and once to our Beijing Tree. On second occasion to the Bauhinia kokiana, one partner had a twig in the beak.

30-31/01/2012 Nest building
“Nest construction began on the 30th and was completed within two days. This is an assumption as did not see the actual construction. There was no nesting material on the 29th Jan but the nest was complete and in use by 1st Feb.

01/02/2012 (Day 1)
“Two eggs seen in nest. Possibly laid on 31/01/2012 late evening/night or 01/02/2102 early morning. The eggs were present by 8 am on the 1st Feb. The eggs, seen from below, looked translucent and light pink against the light on Day 1, subsequently white (above right). From above they were white (above left). No attempt to size them was made.

“Only one parent seen incubating eggs in nest. Takes very short breaks from the nest. Our observations are not continual but so far only spotted the bird out of nest three times. Usually around 9.00-9.30 am to preen and possibly feed. Almost continual observations from 5am to 10 am on two occasions did not show any change over – on both occasions the incubating bird left the nest once and returned after 10-15 minutes. Frequent, repeated observations (spot checks) throughout the day, daily for 11 days, have always found a bird in the nest. We have yet to see any change over in the incubating bird.

“Eggs still being incubated at D11. Hopefully more to come.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Datin Dr Lim Swee-Im
Canning Garden Home, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

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