Montane Birds that Visit the Lowlands

posted in: vertical migration | 0
Image 1: Little cuckoo-dove seen in a lowland forest reserve just outside Ipoh. Perak, Malaysia. 7 November 2023.


Image 2: Two mountain imperial pigeons seen in lowland forest outside Ipoh. Perak, Malaysia. 7 November 2023.


There are some montane species that often visit the lowlands, flying long distances to feed at fruiting trees. Two that I am familiar with are the Mountain Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula badia) and the Little Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia ruficeps). I saw both of them on 7th February 2023 at a forest reserve outside of Ipoh. There were 5 Mountain Imperial-Pigeons and 6 Little Cuckoo-Doves that I observed. Mountain Imperial-Pigeons are very common at this site, and I see them during most visits. Little Cuckoo-Doves are seen less often but I have, over the years, seen them in lowland forest. It takes 1.5 hours by road from Ipoh to Brinchang, Cameron Highlands (nearest montane location) but as the bird flies the distance is ~30km.


\Wells (1999) states about Little Cuckoo-Doves that “small parties commute up and down mountain-slopes and have been found foraging at the forest edge and scrub 8-10 km into the lowland plains”. On Mountain Imperial-Pigeons Wells (1999) says “…present year-round in surrounding lowlands, on the west-coast plains as far afield as the mangrove zone”.


Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


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