The Common Emerald Dove, a Forest Jewel.

A rare moment finding a resting Emerald Dove oblivious to distractions nearby. Taken at a track along Rifle Range Road on 15 June 2015. I find its colors really stunning.

When you see a flash of green zipped across your path in our Nature Reserves, chances are that you have just seen our resident Common Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica flying byIt is the only representative of this genus in Singapore, a species we have to protect. It is one of most colorful residents that inhabits our forest. Their old name Green-winged Pigeon comes from the green sheen of their wings. Contrasted against a brownish body and reddish bill, it is a delight to every bird photographer who manage to capture it. They avoid open country and hardly seen flying over the tree tops. Unlike the green pigeons and fruit doves, they feed entirely on the ground along jungle tracks and edges of forests. Dairy Farm Nature Park, Hindhede Park and the trails around Bukit Timah are the places to go to find them. They have also been seen along mangroves trails at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves. Listed as uncommon due to their retiring nature.

The green wings and brown body were supposed to blend in with the color of the forest, but it still stands out.

So far we have only one breeding record. In August 2005, an adult was seen sitting in a nest in a Sea Hibiscus and feeding a chick at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves (JC pers comm). With more birders and photographers in the field today, we hope that someone will find another nesting soon. (Or if you have a past breeding record here, please let us know)

Ref: The Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng 2009.

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