and doves do not have well-developed oil glands, which in other birds are
used to waterproof their feathers. Instead, they have special plumes scattered
throughout their body which disintegrate to produce a powder which cleans
and lubricates the feathers.
Peaceful Dove, Barred Ground Dove,
Doves are the smallest of the terrestrial doves found in Singapore.
They feed on grass seeds, preferring to forage on bare ground or short
grass, scurrying about with rodent-like movement. Unlike other doves,
they forage alone, or in pairs. Their coloration camouflages them
wonderfully against the ground.
are more shy than the Spotted Dove and fly off into nearby undergrowth
at the first sign of danger.
They appear to prefer open areas including cultivated parks, gardens
and even in urban areas. They are also found in mangroves.
Zebra Doves roost at night high in trees and seem particularly fond
of roosting in coconut palms.
and wetland wildlife at
Sungei Buloh Nature Park
features: Small (20-22cm); bluish grey cheeks and
eye ring; crown, nape brown; upper parts brown with small
crescent-shaped black bars; underparts pinkish buff with
black and white zebra-like bands; bill pale grey; feet
Juveniles: Upperparts densely barred dark rufous
brown; all flight feathers tipped rufous brown; underparts
brown instead of pinkish buff.
Call: Described as a series
of variable high-pitched coos; also a low purring
note k-k-k-krrror bo Bo Bo
In flight: Flight is a characteristic
bounding with nearly closed wings after a few rapid flaps.
Similar birds: Spotted
Dove (Streptopelia chinensis): The Spotted
is larger; has on the back of its neck a black patch with
white spots; and is not "zebra-stripped" as
the Zebra Dove.
Status in Singapore: Very
common resident throughout the island and North and South
World distribution: Myanmar
to Australia. Introduced to northern Thailand, Madagascar,
St. Helena and Hawaii.
Classification: Family Columbidae.
World 310 species, Singapore 11 species.
and threats: Zebra Doves adapt well to cultivated area and quickly
spread to such places. Popular in bird-singing contests, wild Zebra Doves
are often heavily trapped for sale as cage birds. Nevertheless, they are
still common and not considered at risk in Singapore.
Zebra Doves breed in September to June. Zebra Dove males have a courtship
display of brisk bobbing with head down and tail up, while loudly
calling. They do this on a high perch, facing the female. As the pair
sit side-by-side, he may sing.
Like other pigeons, the Zebra Dove nest is a flimsy platform of twigs
and fibres, usually in a small tree, palm and sometimes in a bush.
1-2 white eggs are laid.
Migration: Although Zebra Doves
may disperse widely to look for food or escape harassment, they are
not migratory. Being a popular cage bird, they are introduced to many
areas they were not native to.
most fascinating feature of pigeons and doves is their ability to
produce crop milk. During breeding season, special glands in the crops
of both males and females enlarge and secrete a thick milky substance.
The chicks drink this milk by poking their bills into the parent's
Thus, pigeons and doves can feed their young without having to incessantly
hunt or forage for food. Instead of laying many eggs, they lay one
or at most two eggs. Their abundance is proof that this feature gives
them the advantage.
Mall: info about habits, features about the Zebra Dove focusing
on keeping it as a pet (in Bahasa).
- Morten Strange,
"A Photographic Guide to Birds of Malaysia and Singapore: including
Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Borneo", Periplus, 2000
(p. 143: description, voice, habits, distribution, status, photo).
- Morten Strange,
"Tropical Birds of Malaysia and Singapore", Periplus
Editions, 2000 (p. 25: habits, habitat, photo).
- David R Wells,
"The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passarines)",
Academic Press, 1999 (p. 338-340: identification, distribution map,
habits, habitat, migration, conservation).
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Pocket Checklist of the Birds of the Republic of Singapore",
Nature Society (Singapore), 1999 (Abundance, status, Chinese and Malay
- Lim Kim Seng and
Dana Gardner, "Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds
of Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing Ltd., 1997 (p. 47: identification,
status in Singapore, distribution, diagram, number of species).
- G W H Davison
and Chew Yen Fook, "A Photographic Guide to Birds of Peninsular
Malaysia and Singapore", New Holland Publishers Ltd., 1995
(p. 43: identification, status in Singapore, distribution, photo).
- Morten Strange
and Allen Jeyarajasingam, "Birds: A Photographic Guide to the
Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing,
1993 (p. 49: description, distribution, habits, habitat, photo).
- Christopher Hails,
"Birds of Singapore" illustrated by Frank Jarvis, Times
Editions, 1987 reprinted 1995 (p. 88: habits, description, status in
Singapore, and lovely drawings of the birds).
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Vanishing Birds of Singapore", Nature Society (Singapore),
1992 (p. 8: status in Singapore).
- M W F Tweedie,
"Common Birds of the Malay Peninsula", Longman,1970
(p. 17: description, distribution, habits, habitat, drawing).
- G C Madoc, "An
Introduction to Malayan Birds", Malayan Nature Society, 1947
(p. 60: description, habits, habitat).
- Sir John A S Bucknill
and E N Chasen, "Birds of Singapore and South-East Asia",
Tynron Press, 1927, edition 1990 (p. 55-57: identification, status in
Singapore, distribution, field notes on habits, drawings).
- Prof. Dr. Yong
Hoi Sen (ed.), "The Encyclopedia of Malaysia: Animals";
Pigeons and Doves by Siti Hawa bt Yatim, Editions Didier Millet, 1998
(p. 52-53: habits and habitats)
- Dr. Harold G Cogger
(et. al), "Encyclopedia of Animals"; Pigeons and Sandgrouse
by Francis H J Crome, Weldon Owen, 1993 (p. 334-336: general habits