Emerald Dove – song

posted in: birds, Vocalisation | 0

I heard a number of Emerald Doves (Chalcophaps indica indica) calling out from 7.30 to 9.15 am. There were 5 birds in total, spread over an area of 60-70 meters squared (measured using Google maps). I have occasionally heard these sort of calls in the forest, but usually ignored them as they are very low pitch and hard to pinpoint; even the forest insect noise can drown them out. Despite the low frequency of calls they can carry far in the forest but you have to listen intently to make them out. Since I acquired the Rode VideoMic Pro Plus shotgun microphone, recording them has become a bit more possible. I must add that processing the call recordings is tough; especially to produce a viable sonogram as there is lots of noise interference from insects and other birds far away.

Calls are mournful in nature. Each call has two components – an initial ‘click’ or ‘tick’ followed by a longer mournful ‘wooing’ noise. Craig Robson (Field Guide to Birds of SE Asia 2002) describes them best and says this is the birds ‘song’ – “a deep soft tit-whoooo or tik-whooOO; the short clicking introductory note barely audible, repeated at one second intervals up to 25 times”. The full ‘song’ – initial click and wooing noise’ last 1 second with 0.5 second for the wooing section. Spacing between calls is 0.6 seconds. One bird I heard had no initial click calls. Calls were repeated between 8-20 times (recordings: 8, 10, 9, 12, 17, 20, 8 times). The wooing section of the call has a crescendo-decrescendo sonogram and waveform structure.

Edited audio recording scan be found here: https://www.xeno-canto.org/459593.

The attachment above shows the sonogram and waveform of 3 calls (lots of noise artefacts despite cleaning). Three of the birds were together in the same immediate area and the calls of two birds overlapped but were not responsive (calling at the same time). Hence I wondered if these were courtship calls?


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

28th February 2019


Location: Ulu Kinta Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Previously logged forest with secondary growth and some residual primary forest

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone


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