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.
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.
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.