Pink-necked Green-pigeon: Cloacal kiss and after

It was a hot afternoon. Suddenly the sky became overcast. And just as suddenly there was a downpour. Before long the downpour turned into a light drizzle.

In the midst of the light drizzle a female Pink-necked Green-pigeon (Treron vernans) landed on a branch of the roadside Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) tree. Sitting quietly, she soaked in the rain drops. Fluffing her chest feathers, she preened, then turning her head 180º backwards (see also HERE), she preened her back and the underside of her left wing. Suddenly a male green-pigeon flew in and perched by her side.


The male moved closer to her, then jumped on her back. Precariously standing on her body with her on a branch high above the ground, he flapped his wings to help his balance in an effort to complete copulation (above) LINK.

Copulation takes place when the under surface of his tail makes contact with the under surface of her tail. This is a delicate move that needed him to flap his tail such that the upper surface makes contact with the lower surface of her tail. This contact, termed “cloacal kiss” takes less than a second, during which time sperms would be transferred.

The video clip below at 00:46 shows the brief act of copulation. A replay at slow motion gives a better view of the act.

The pair remained perched close together for some minutes before preening their front and back feathers and wings. Both displayed their abilities to turn their heads 180º backwards (below). The female then flew off leaving the male behind. The male flew down to a fruiting Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum) bush to join the female before flying off.

PNGP-preening pair

The female remained behind where she was joined by a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) that fed on the fruits before she left to join her mate.

YC Wee
26th January 2018

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