September 18th, 2018

Fruit Dove - Ptilinopus

Fruit Doves, also known as fruit pigeons are an exotic group of fruit-eating birds that only live in the Australian and Southeast Asian region. There are about 50 known species; however, most are endangered or extinct.

These doves are hypersensitive to land clearing due to their diet, and global warming effects the fruits they eat dramatically. As temperatures vary, the timing of food availability for the birds is critical. As the climate variability changes, these birds are forced to look for food across more forested areas through the region; which is concerning. If trees fruit early or late, it puts these birds in a non negotiable circumstance to continue looking for food.

The two groups I am familiar with are the rose-crowned fruit dove seen below, and the rarer purple headed fruit dove. Both birds feature incredibly striking colours and areas of contrasting light grey feathers. The most interesting thing to me is the elliptical eye and orange colouration.

Sitting in the lower canopy of the tropical rainforest this bird was sitting happily. The colours evenly balanced in the low light beneath the trees. This is the first time I have photographed a clear example of a fruit dove. I think this will be in my top ten photographs for the year.