Friday, August 19, 2011

Zebra Doves in the Village

photo of a Zebra Dove by Tonji Ramos

     Many people are familiar with the Zebra Dove and even know its local name “bato-bato”. The Zebra Dove or Geopelia striata is a very common bird found all over the village. It has the shape and manner of a domestic pigeon, but is smaller than a domestic pigeon. It has black and white barring or zebra stripes on the side of its neck and upper torso. It has a blue-grey throat and light blue eyes.  Like domestic pigeons, it coos.
     One reason why the Zebra Dove is so familiar to many people is that it is very approachable. It is not easily spooked. Often, instead of flying away when people approach, it merely hops a few feet away. One resident described how she became curious about the Zebra Dove after encountering several of them on the ground while she was out jogging. She was surprised that unlike most other birds, they did not fly away as she approached them. She thought that this was very unbird-like of them!
      Zebra Doves are frequently found on the ground. This is another reason why they are so familiar to people. They’re very easy to see. In the village, you can see them walking on the roads, in open lots, and on the fairways of the golf course. They also like to perch on rooftops, trees and on the overhead wires. 
     Zebra Doves also have a talent for acting. Once, a Zebra Dove fall from a tree in front of my house and hopped on the ground with what appeared to be an injured wing. There was a crow that had just landed in the tree that the Zebra Dove fell from. It looked like the crow had attacked and injured the Zebra Dove.  A car drove up the road.  As I approached the Zebra Dove to move it out of the way of the car, the Zebra Dove flew away to another tree a few houses away! There was no limping or any sign of injury to its wing. The Zebra Dove had been feigning injury to distract the crow. It turned out that the Zebra Dove had a nest in the tree. Unfortunately for the Zebra Dove, its ploy did not work on the crow. The crow ate up the baby Zebra Doves.
     Aside from the Zebra Dove, there are 2 other kinds of dove species found in the village. The Red Turtle-Dove and the Spotted Dove. Both of these doves look similar to the Zebra Dove, but without the zebra-like black and white barring. The Red-Turtle Dove is slightly larger and has a solid black collar on the back of its neck. The Spotted Dove is also much larger than the Zebra Dove and has spots on the side of its neck instead bars.
Here are links to more dove pictures on our website:

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