The Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) is a pigeon which is a widespread resident breeding bird in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia and northern and eastern Australia. It has a number of subspecies.
This is a common species in rainforest and similar dense wet woodlands. It builds a stick nest in a tree and lays two cream-coloured eggs. Its flight is fast and direct, with the regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings which are characteristic of pigeons in general. It often flies low between the patches of dense forest it prefers, but when disturbed will frequently walk away rather than fly.
Emerald Dove is a stocky, medium-sized pigeon, typically 27cm in length. The back and wings are bright emerald green. The flight feathers and tail are blackish, and broad black and white bars show on the lower back in flight. The head and underparts are dark vinous pink, fading to greyish on the lower belly. The eyes are dark brown, the bill bright red and legs and feet rufous.
The male has a white patch on the edge of the shoulders and a grey crown, which the female lacks. Immature birds resemble females but have brown scallops on their body and wing plumage.
Emerald doves usually occur singly or in small groups. They are quite terrestrial, often searching for fallen fruit on the ground and spending little time in trees except when roosting. They eat seeds and fruits of a wide variety of plants and are generally tame and approachable.
The call is a low soft cooing. Males perform a bobbing dance during courtship.
Last updated: 05-21-2005 23:19:57