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Sunday, September 11, 2005

ZEBRA DOVES - 14. Are the doves about to breed again?

ZEBRA DOVES - 14. Are the doves about to breed again?

It would appear that every evening a parent would fly on to a high perch and start cooing to attract the fledglings. All three birds would then fly to a tree around the nesting area and settle for the night. At first light the next morning, the birds would rouse, preen themselves and each other, then fly off.

The young birds are now 49 days old, having left the nest 35 days ago. They are still dependent on the parents for food. This protracted parental care appears to be common in many species of small birds, as reported in the 1960s by P. Ward working in Singapore on the Yellow-vented bulbul and by M.P.L. Fogden working on a number of species in Sarawak.

Of late, the adult bird, immediately after the fledglings flew off in the morning, returned to the exact nesting site or a potential nesting site in a nearby tree and started cooing repeatedly, at times duetting, and all the time making low pitch copulating noises. It is possible that the adult birds are into breeding again, more than two months after the last batch of eggs were laid? I am keeping my fingers crossed.



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