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A photo of a Common Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)
Common Emerald Dove

Common Emerald Dove

Chalcophaps indica

The Common Emerald Dove, scientifically known as Chalcophaps indica, is a pigeon of considerable charm. With its bright emerald green back and wings, it is a medium-sized bird, typically measuring between 23 to 27 centimeters in length. The male is distinguished by a white patch on the shoulder's edge and a grey crown, while the female is generally browner with a grey shoulder mark. Immature birds are similar to females but have brown scallops on their body and wing plumage.

Identification Tips

To identify this species, look for the dark vinous pink head and underparts, which fade to greyish on the lower belly. The eyes are dark brown, the bill a striking bright red, and the legs and feet rufous. In flight, the blackish flight feathers and tail contrast with broad black and white bars on the lower back.

Habitat

The Common Emerald Dove thrives in tropical forests, dense wet woodlands, farms, and mangroves. It is a bird that appreciates the cover of dense foliage.

Distribution

This species is a widespread resident breeding bird across the tropical and subtropical regions of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is also the state bird of Tamil Nadu in India.

Behaviour

Emerald Doves are often seen singly, in pairs, or small groups. They are quite terrestrial, foraging for fallen fruit on the ground and spending less time in trees except when roosting. They are known for their fast and direct flight, characterized by regular beats and occasional sharp flicks of the wings. When disturbed, they may choose to walk away rather than take flight.

Song & Calls

The call of the Common Emerald Dove is a soft, moaning cooing, consisting of six to seven coos that start quietly and rise in volume. They also emit a nasal "hoo-hoo-hoon."

Breeding

These doves build a scant stick nest in a tree, usually up to five meters high, and lay two cream-coloured eggs.

Similar Species

The Common Emerald Dove can be confused with other dove species, but its bright emerald green wings and red bill are distinctive features that aid in its identification.

Diet and Feeding

The diet consists of seeds and fruits from a wide variety of plants. They are known to be tame and approachable, often found foraging on the ground.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List classifies the Common Emerald Dove as Least Concern, indicating that it is not currently at significant risk of decline.

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