Atypical nesting of the Zebra Dove

posted in: Nesting, Pigeon-Dove | 1

“I have seen Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) nest in odd sites but never before in limestone hill openings.

“Note that these are images and observations from a distance with no closer access but there is no doubt about the nesting behaviour.

“I spotted an adult flying into a small hole in a large limestone stalactite. The hole is located 40-50 meters up a limestone outcropping (above). I saw three visits by the adult bringing nesting material with another adult within the hole receiving the material (below).

“I only observed for awhile as I was lured away by migrant minivets.

“Note that the nest is within the hole and not on any ledge. I wonder if they have been learning form the starlings, pigeons, sparrows, etc who use these holes for nests?”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
21st September 2014

Location: Tambun Interior, Ipoh City, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Ex-logging trails, limestone hills, secondary forest, streams

  1. Lee Chiu San

    Dear Amar,

    Zebra doves are relatively indiscriminate in their choice of nesting sites. Under aviary conditions, they will build nests on bare plank shelves and in flower pots. Yes, in aviculture, deep flower pots are hung up and used to duplicate the nesting sites of some birds that breed in open-topped tree cavities. From your photo, the hole in the limestone cliff does not appear very deep, since the head of the dove can be seen peering over the edge. That cavity appears more like a shelf or ledge to me, rather than a burrow. It is not surprising that a zebra dove would build a nest there.

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