Zebra Dove – Fledgling period

on 3rd June 2018

On 15th March 2018 a newly fledged Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) was found wandering in my porch. An adult was seen feeding it, after which the juvenile was left in the garden to spend the night LINK. That night it was caged for its safety and released the following morning, whereupon an adult arrived to feed it LINK.

Zebra Dove, 47 days after fledging (video grab).

The juvenile remained in my garden for a total of 28 days, foraging and resting most of the time, but still being fed regularly by an adult/s. On the following evening it was seen in my neighbour’s garden with both the adults. After feeding, the family remained together with the juvenile perching between the two adults, indulging in comfort behaviour (see video below).

I have been hearing the calls of the adults almost every day since and once in a while even saw the juvenile around. On 30th April (47 days after fledging), the juvenile was again seen foraging in my garden (video below). An adult’s call was then heard and the juvenile immediately flew off.

There is no way to be sure that the juvenile is the same Zebra Dove that originally came to my garden as it was not ringed. And by mid-May Zebra Dove calls were still heard. Is it possible that the juvenile spent 2 months with the adults after fledging before it becomes independent?

In the 2005 nesting of a pair of Zebra Doves in a tree outside my house, the juvenile spent a total of 94 days with the two adults before they all disappeared from the area. It was then possible to recognise the two juveniles as they were always perching with an adult on the branch of a wayside tree… see 45 days after fledging and 81 days after fledging and 94 days after fledging.

YC Wee
25th May 2018

The definition of fledgling period referred to is after Erritzoe et al. (2007): “the period from leaving the nest to becoming independent of parents.”

Erritzoe, J., K. Kampp, K. Winker & C. B. Frith, 2007. The ornithologist’s dictionary. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. 290 pp.

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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