Roosting of Pink-necked Green-pigeons

on 26th August 2013

The Pink-necked Green-pigeons (Treron vernans) have always been using the fronds of the pair of ceram palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) in my garden to rest during most evenings (above). They would make their low pitch cooing and the males would court the females, flying from frond to frond to perch besides a potential mate. The female would move away sideways or fly off to another frond if she was not attracted to the male. As the sun sets, the pigeons would fly off to roost.

One day I found the ground below a Golden Penda tree (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) growing along the road fronting my house LINK covered with birds’ droppings (left). Obviously some birds were roosting there as there are not many birds in the tree during the day, unless the tree is flowering. The characteristics of the droppings can point to the identity of the birds roosting above LINK but I was unable to recognise it, although they looked familiar.

I forgot about this until one evening on returning home at around 1845 hours, I heard the loud flapping of wings as a number of birds flew into the crown of this particular tree. The birds would most likely be pigeons or doves but it was not possible to identify exactly which species as it was dark. So I took a number of random photos of the tree crown and managed to identify from the not-too-focused images that the birds were Pink-necked Green-pigeons (above).

The following evening (10th August 2013), I waited by the tree to greet the arrivals. At around 1850 hours the pigeons began to arrive. It wasn’t dark then. As they arrived with their characteristic flapping of wings, they moved about the tree crown rustling the leaves to find a suitable spot to settle down for the night – individually or in pairs (above and below). No other sound was heard. There were nearly two dozen birds in all.

A few mornings later I stationed myself at around 0645 hours below the tree to watch the pigeons fly off. It was drizzling and the birds remained in the tree until about 0800 hours when the rain stopped. Unfortunately I missed witnessing their flying off the tree. On the morning of 15th August I succeeded in my mission when at about 0650 hours I heard a pigeon calling. This was about the time when the Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) were starting their dawn chorus LINK. Soon, more and more pigeons were vocalising, followed by small groups of 3-5 birds flying off in different directions to forage.

Most people are aware of the large roosting flocks of mynas, crows, swallows and Purple-backed Starlings (Sturnus sturninus) LINK 1, LINK 2 and LINK 3. We have even posted single roosting birds LINK 1, LINK 2, LINK 3, LINK 4, LINK 5 and LINK 6. But this is the first time we are posting the roosting of a small flock of Pink-necked Green Pigeons.

As all diurnal birds roost at night, it would be interesting to look into the roosting behaviour of the different species of birds.

YC Wee
August 2013

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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