Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Treron vernans (Linnaeus, 1771)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Columbiformes
Family:Columbidae
Genus:Treron
Species:T. vernans
Common Names:Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Status:Common resident

Description

This is the most abundant species of green pigeons in Singapore. The male is a beautiful bird with a pink neck. The female is duller.

Read more about the Columbiformes order.
Read more about the Columbidae family.

Distribution

Pink-necked Green Pigeon ranges from South Vietnam, South Tenasserim, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Sumatra, the Rhio Archipelago, and Borneo to Java and Bali.

Localities

Found throughout Singapore and its offshore islands.

Locality Map

General Biology

Treron vernans are gregarious and can feed in flocks of 5 to 50. They move over the country in search of fruiting trees. In the evenings or early mornings, flocks of these pigeons can be seen in the trees in secondary forests, parks, gardens and coastal districts. This is the only green-pigeon seen outside the forest.

In late evening a few pairs will roost in some trees along the roadside or elsewhere, leaving during the early morning. When it rains, they will find shelter in trees with sufficiently large leaves to keep then from getting wet.

The green-pigeon has been predated by a sub-adult Rufous-bellied Eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii formosus) and possibly also by a Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor).

Diet

Treron vernans are largely frugivorous. The take the syconia of Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina.) and other figs; the fruits of Straits Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum), Singapore Cherry (Muntingia calabura), Sea Olive (Olea brachiata), Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans), Simpog Air (Wormia suffruticosa), MacArthur Palm (Ptychospermum macarthurii) and Salam (Syzygium polyanthum).

It has been reported that it also eats the leaves of the Sea Apple (Syzygium grande) and the flower petals of Simpoh Air.

Life Cycle

The breeding season is said to be largely dependent on the fruiting of certain species of figs (Robinson, 1927).

Both sexes help in nest building. The nest is usually built in a tree or shrub or even in a potted plant. The male sources out materials while the female builds the nest. Nests are built in trees and shrubs. There was an instance where the pair reused a munia's old nest. Similarly, both sexes help in incubation and brooding. The clutch of two eggs takes about 17 days to hatch. The chicks are fed crop milk; a video clip is shown here.

The chicks fledge at ten days old, making a clumsy maiden flight, with the adukts nearby giving support. The adults feed the fledgling for the next few days until the latter is able to source out its own food. According to reports, the food fed to the fledgling is regurgitated fruits and not crop milk.

Ecological Role

Pink-necked Green Pigeons, as with other pigeons, assist in the dispersal of seeds. They also have a role in the control of the insect population.

References

Robinson, H. C. 1927. The birds of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. I: The commoner birds. H. F. & G. Witherby. London. 329 pp.

Wang, L. K. 2011. Pigeons. Pp. 414. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L. K. & C. J. Hails, 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179.

Wee, Y. C. 2005. Foraging a closer relationship with Pink-necked Green-pigeons. Nature Watch 13(3):16-22.

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