Zebra Dove – social behaviour 

on 30th September 2021

My common experience with the social behaviour of Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) is to see a pair foraging or perched, often affectionately (allopreening). Not infrequently a small group will be found foraging together where the food source is readily available; example under a fruiting Ficus tree or where someone has thrown out grain/rice to feed birds. Rarely do I see larger groups.


On this occasion I observed 32 birds perched in a small dead tree (above image only shows a small selection of the birds). This was at 9.30am in the morning. Some birds were calling out but there was no aggression or competitive behaviour. They remained companionably together for a while, even after I moved on.

Wells (1999) mentions: less often small parties. Gibbs and Barnes (2001) state: Most frequently seen in pairs or small groups, but occasionally in larger congregations at good feeding sites or at water. I am reasonably sure than neither food/feeding nor water sources were an issue at this site. It could just be a convenient perch/resting location, after the early morning feeding, that offered safety in numbers.

  1. Wells, D.R. (1999) The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passerines). Christopher Helm, London
  2. Gibbs, D., Barnes, E., Cox, J. (2001) Pigeons and Doves, A Guide to Pigeons and Doves of the World. Yale University Press.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Urban environment

Date: 28th May 2020

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8G VR IF-ED


Are you are wondering why so many of Amar’s contributions? See HERE .


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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