Jambu Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus jambu) is an uncommon non-breeding visitor. Apparently it visits any time of the year. Thus when a pair was sighted on 19th December 2007, news spread wide and fast. Photographers and birders flocked to the Japanese Garden in Jurong, the former to record the event and the latter to gawk at the birds.
The strikingly handsome male with a crimson face and a pink patch on the upper breast is shown above. The less striking but just as attractive female, shown below, is about to swallow the salam (Syzygium polyanthum) fruit. In the crop the flesh is stripped off and the seed sent on its way to be ejected at the other end of the bird.
This year’s arrival of the doves coincided with the fruiting of the salam tree, a common roadside tree whose fruits are a favourite with birds. A single male bird was sighted last year in another such fruiting tree nearby. The fruits of the salam obviously provide much needed sustenance to these birds after their long flight.
Normally found in forests, this fruit eating dove congregate in the crowns of small trees making up the lower to middle storey. Their appearance in a park thus allowed photographers excellent opportunities to get their perfect shots.
Input by YC, Meng and Melinda Chan; images by Meng.