Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Zebra dove

Geopelia striata

Photo by J.J. Harrison (Wikipedia)

Common name:
zebra dove (en); rola-zebrada (pt); géopélie zébrée (fr); tortolita estriada (es); sperbertaube (de)

Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

This species is native to south-east Asia, from southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore to the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Lombok. It may also be native to the Philippines. Since this species is a popular cage bird, they have been accidentally introduced in several other areas, especially islands, including Laos, Boeneo, Sulawesi, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Caledonia, the Seychelles, the Chagos archipelago, Mauritius, Réunion and Saint Helena.

This small dove is 20-23 cm long and has a wingspan of 24-26 cm. They weigh 50-62 g.

They are mostly found in scrubland, farmland and other open habitats in lowland areas. They are also common in parks and gardens.

Zebra doves feed on grass seeds where the ground is bare in open spaces among thorn scrub, roadsides, paths, and in gardens. They also eat insects and other small invertebrates.

Within their native range they breed in September-June. The nest is a fragile platform of twigs, leaves and grass blades, usually located in a tree or scrub close to the ground up to an height of 4 m. They may also nest on the ground. The female lays 1-2 white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 13-18 days. The young leave the nest within two weeks and can fly well after three weeks.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The population has not been quantified. Although the species is the target of trapping for commercial purposes, they are still common throughout most of their native range. They also adapt well to the human made habitats so habitat change is not a threat to this species.

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