Punai Kerichau/Gading (Malay)
Green Pigeons eat mainly fruits. Their colourful attire allows them
to blend perfectly in the foliage of fruiting trees (can you spot
the pigeon in the photo on the left?)
Figs are their favourite, but they also eat palm fruit and berries,
and nibble on buds. In Sungei Buloh, their favourite food include
the fruit of the Macaranga, Cherry
Tree (Muntingia calabura), small banyan figs (Ficus
benjamina), and Singapore Rhododendron
Like other Green Pigeons, they are arboreal and seldom come the ground
except to drink, although they may snack on berries of low bushes.
Pink-necked Green Pigeons are the only Green Pigeons found commonly
outside the primary forest. They prefer habitats with trees that provide
fruits as well as a safe perch including mangroves, scrub, secondary
forest, forest edge.
and wetland wildlife at
Sungei Buloh Nature Park
features: Medium (25cm), chubby; bill pale green;
feet red. See below for difference from other Green Pigeons.
Male: Head and throat grey;
upper breast and neck pinkish-purple; lower breast orange.
Female: Uniform green plumage; yellow stripe in wing; belly has
yellow tinge; thighs mixed dark green and yellow; under
tail coverts pale cinnamon.
Call: Described as rapidly
repeated bubbling whistles, chuckles, gurgles in a variety
In flight: Fast, direct flight.
When disturbed, flies off with clapping wing beats.
Similar birds: Other Green Pigeons. The Pink-necked
has a grey tail with broad black subterminal band and
narrow white tip.
Status in Singapore: Very
common resident throughout the island and North and South
World distribution: Southeast
Asia from Southern Myanmar, to the Malay peninsula, to
Sulawesi, the Philippines and Borneo.
Classification: Family Columbidae,
subfamily Treroninae (Fruit Pigeons). World 310 species,
Singapore 11 species.
Pink-necked Green Pigeons forage most actively in the early morning. Although
they may feed in flocks of up to 30 in a fruiting tree, males especially
may defend small patches from others in the flock. Pink-necked Green Pigeons
tend to roost together and a site may attract hundreds of birds from a wide
area and become a traditional roost. Favoured roosting sites are tall trees
in swamps and mangroves. But they nest alone and not in large colonies.
Pigeons 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.
1-2 white eggs are laid.
Both parents take turns incubating them and both raise the young. Fledglings
may remain near the nest for up to 1 week.
(late March to late July): The male Pink-necked is very
handsome and colourful. The duller female is easily confused with
those of other Green Pigeons and is best identified by her male consort
who is usually nearby.
Like other pigeons, the nest is a flimsy platform of twigs. About
15-20 cm in diameter, and so thin that sometimes the contents can
be seen from below! The male collects the nesting material and passes
these on to the female to assemble. Pairs nest alone, preferring spots
near open spaces, in bushes as low as 2m off the ground and up to
10m high in trees and palms.
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.
Migration? Although Pink-necked Green Pigeons may travel long
distances to forage for food, they are quite sedentary and don't migrate.
Status and threats: The Pink-necked
Green Pigeons used to be far more common in the past; bags of them where
regularly shot during colonial times in Singapore. They are still hunted
in other parts of Asia, usually shot as they gathered in large flocks in
the evening at their communal roosts. They are a particular favourite probably
because, according to Tweedie, they are "just big enough to be worth
cooking". Besides this hunting pressure, they are probably also affected
by the disappearance of their food trees. Nevertheless, Pink-neck Pigeons
are still among the more commonly seen of Green Pigeons in Singapore as
they have adapted to non-forest habitats such as mangroves, cultivated land
in rural as well as urban areas.
- Morten Strange,
"A Photographic Guide to Birds of Malaysia and Singapore: including
Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Borneo", Periplus, 2000
(p. 136: description, voice, habits, distribution, status, photo).
- David R Wells,
"The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passarines)",
Academic Press, 1999 (p. 346-347: identification, distribution map,
habits, habitat, migration, conservation).
- Lim Kim Seng and
Dana Gardner, "Birds: An Illustrated Field Guide to the Birds
of Singapore", Sun Tree Publishing Ltd., 1997 (p. 48: 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. 45: identification, status in Singapore, distribution, photo).
- Clive Briffett,
"A Guide to the Common Birds of Singapore", BP Science
Centre,1992 (p. 65: habit, habitat).
- Christopher Hails,
"Birds of Singapore" illustrated by Frank Jarvis, Times
Editions, 1987 reprinted 1995 (p. 87: habits, description, status in
Singapore, and lovely drawings of the birds).
- Ramakrishnan N
K, "Journal of a Nature Warden: Pink-necked Green Pigeon",
Wetlands Vol 7 No 3 Dec 2000.
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Vanishing Birds of Singapore", Nature Society (Singapore),
1992 (p. 8: status in Singapore).
- Lim Kim Seng,
"Pocket Checklist of the Birds of the Republic of Singapore",
Nature Society (Singapore), 1999 (Abundance, status, Chinese and Malay
- M W F Tweedie,
"Common Birds of the Malay Peninsula", Longman,1970
(p. 16: description, distribution, habits, habitat, drawing).
- G C Madoc, "An
Introduction to Malayan Birds", Malayan Nature Society, 1947
(p. 56: 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. 47-54: identification, status in
Singapore, distribution, field notes on habits as well as how to shoot
them and how nice they tasted in pies (!), and 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