Adult Zebra Dove returned to the garden to feed the juvenile

on 3rd April 2018

The adult Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) flew off from my garden leaving the recently fledged juvenile that spent a night caged for its safety LINK. The next day the juvenile reunited with an adult and was fed. The juvenile remained in the garden and an adult flew in regularly to feed it. On the third day the juvenile perched on a branch of a tree and the adult flew in to feed it (see video below).

I was able to document the feeding at close range as both were used to my presence.

As with doves and pigeons, chicks are fed with pure crop milk LINK. This is a highly nutritious semi-solid substance rich in fat and protein produced in the crop LINK. Once the chick is fledged, it is slowly fed solid mixed with crop milk. Such solids are softened in the crop and with time more and more are introduced until the juvenile is fed entirely on softened adult food.

The feeding process involves the juvenile pecking the base of the adult’s bill to force the latter to open its mandibles. The juvenile will then push its bill inside the throat of the adult to receive the crop milk (above).

YC Wee
19th March 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.

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