One evening I noticed a pair of recently fledged juvenile Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) being fed by an adult on a branch of a roadside tree. As with doves and pigeons, the young are fed with crop milk – see HERE.
This involves the adult dipping its bill into the throat of the young to transfer the milk. But before I could assemble my video equipment the adult flew off. The two juveniles however remained on the tree branch (below).
Unlike other birds like the Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus), where the recently fledged juvenile will constantly be around the adults begging to be fed LINK, the Zebra Dove juveniles remained where they were after feeding. The adults flew off to forage and at this young stage there was no need to teach the juvenile how to seek out food. Only when the juveniles are about to wean off crop milk will it be necessary for them to follow the adults all the time.
The pair of juveniles set quietly, indulging in preening, scratching, pecking each other while waiting for the adults to return. It was the late evening and the adults will fly in to join the juveniles in roosting in the same tree.
26th August 2017