Pink-necked Green-pigeon feeding 3 fledglings

Rosemary Tan’s video clip of an adult Pink-necked Green-pigeon (Treron vernans) feeding three fledglings was documented in Tiong Bahru (below). There is something unusual here. Normal the full clutch for such green-pigeon is two but in this case there were three eggs laid, thus three fledglings. As there is only one adult here caring for them, the fledglings are fighting to be fed, to the extent of climbing all over the adult. (The above image shows a colourful male on the left perching close to the female.)

Once the chicks fledged (i.e. have left the nest), they will still depend on the two adults to feed them. This may last a fortnight or so, depending on the species. And with pigeons, the young needs to be fed crop milk. Usually the chick will poked its bill into the adult’s gape to receive the milk (see below where the fledgling from another nesting receives crop milk from a male). At the same time they are slowly weaned off crop milk as they are introduced to solid food by the adults.

The recently fledged chicks need to be taught how to survive outside the nest, that is, in the wild. The adults will teach the fledglings where to find food, recognise potential predators, etc. Without this learning period they are easy victims to predators.

When the chicks first leave the nest, their first flight may be clumsy and they may end up on the ground, looking helpless. Anyone coming across such “helpless” chicks should not pick pick them from the ground to bring them home and care for them. To do so would only fatten them for some grateful predators. After all, who would be teaching them to recognise and avoid predators?

DO LEAVE THEM ALONE FOR THE ADULTS WILL ALWAYS BE AROUND TO LOOK AFTER THEM. If there is any necessity to pick them up, leave them on higher ground so that they are not trampled by people or snatched by stray cats and dogs – see this LINK to see how an injured chick was treated and left for the adults to take over from there.

Rosemary Tan
Singapore
June 2015
(Video by Rosemary Tan, images by YC Wee)

2 Responses

  1. We had a pair of Pink necked green pigeons nest on our balacony. 2 eggs which both hatched. The first flew the nest after about 10 days of age but there is one left. The Mothers visits starting to get Less frequent and today she didn’t turn up at all. Is there anything we can do for the little thing or should we just wait?

  2. Let the adult return and feed the chick. After all, it is survival of the fittest. This is my personal view. Should you take it and successfully feed it until it is able to fly, can you teach it to find food in the wild, recognise and avoid predators? In most cases it will be a victim of some predators or other.

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