Pink-necked Green-pigeon: Cloacal kiss and after

on 25th March 2018

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

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Overall visits (since 2005)

Live visitors
Visitors Today

Clustrmaps (since 2016)