Juvenile Zebra Dove remained in my garden for 28 days

on 17th April 2018

Earlier posts:
1. Adult Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) feeding newly fledged chick LINK.
2. Adult Zebra Dove returned to the garden to feed the juvenile LINK.

Adult Zebra Dove and juvenile after feeding (video grab).

An adult had been flying in three times a day since then, always announcing its arrival with its calls. Each time the juvenile would emerge from somewhere to meet the adult for a feeding session (image above, video below).

In between feeding sessions, the juvenile would forage in the garden, pecking on the ground, probably for grass seeds and whatever bits that were edible. When resting it indulged in preening, scratching and stretching its legs and wings (video below). During heavy showers it took shelter under a bush.

By day 17 (days after fledging) the juvenile was strong enough to fly to a nearby tree to meet an adult for feeding. By then the feeding was not as prolonged as before. The adult would cut short the feeding and fly off, with the juvenile protesting. Obviously, this was to encourage the juvenile to fly off with the adult. But the juvenile stayed put.

The juvenile always returned to forage and maybe spent the night in the garden. Except for the first night, I was unable to locate exactly where it was at night. However, on the evening of day 19, the juvenile was seen under a potted plant resting and indulging in its usual comfort behaviour (see video below) – preening its feathers, scratching and stretching its wings and feet. At 6.22 pm it suddenly flew off. Unfortunately, I was behind a pillar and was not able to see its destination. It may well had flown to a nearby tree to spend the night.

From then onwards if was not seen in the garden. But the calls of the adults were regularly heard.

YC Wee
15th April 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

One Response

  1. I LOVE your photo above of the mother and baby zebra dove! They are my favorite animal. Do you have a high resolution quality copy you could email me?

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