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.
- Wells, D.R. (1999) The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passerines). Christopher Helm, London
- 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
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