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Zebra Dove feeding on Ficus benjamina fruit/seeds

on 21st June 2018

“I have often seen Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) feeding on the fruit fallen from fruiting Ficus trees but seldom had the opportunity for a close observation.

“This was a large fruiting Ficus benjamina in the city and had numerous Zebra Doves feeding on the fallen fruit. There were only feeding on ficus fruit that was open (split due to rain) or flattened (by passing vehicle or from falling from the tree).

“I am unable to determine if they were actually opening the fruit with the beak. They were pecking frequently at the contents and eating small portions of the fruit but not the skin. Figs are not ‘true fruits’ but a fleshy covering that house a cluster of flowers within known as a synconium. Pollination in most ficus plants is complex and involves a ‘relationship’ with a specific species of wasp that enters via the ostiole to lay eggs and propagate.

“The mature fruit has tiny fig seeds that are very fine, like small grains of sand. I suspect that the doves are predominantly feeding on the seeds rather than the flesh. Ficus fruit as a source of food for Zebra Doves is not adequately appreciated.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
1st May 2018

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Urban environment

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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