Courtship behaviour of the Thick-billed Green-Pigeon

posted in: Courtship-Mating | 0

I was privileged to observe the courtship behaviour of a pair of Thick-billed Green-Pigeon (Treron curvirostra curvirostra). It was early morning after some rain, still overcast with some yellow light coming through altering image colours. The adult male started off by making their usual whistling, melodious, rambling call. The adult female at this point was on another branch. The male then started the courtship with lots of tail wagging and soft calls/sounds. I attempted a sound recording but the calls were very soft and hard to process with background interference; they sounded like two syllables ‘wo-wo’, repeated a few times. The male then flew over to where the female was and approached her with bowing movements (below).

The male then proceeded to do a curious titubation or head bobbing. This went on for a short while and then the female joined in (below). I suspect this was the acceptance stage when the female also bobbed her head together with the male. There is data that nodding is part of the courtship display in pigeons. In between, the male chased off another male that was nearby. I tried a quick handheld video as getting equipment from the car and setting up would have meant losing the observation.

The brief video showing the curious head bobbing is here: HERE

I planned to do better recordings but the pair flew away immediately as their courtship was interrupted by a Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) attack that fortunately failed.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
1st March 2021

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Broken primary forest with secondary growth
Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

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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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