The Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica), a beautiful little pigeon, is a common breeding resident of forests and also plantations and well-wooded home gardens and plantations of various climate zones, but avoiding very dry scrubland. This dove is rare in high altititudes. In English, it is also called Common Emerald Dove or Green Dove or Green-winged Pigeon. The Sinhalese name is Nila Kobeiya, meaning “Blue Dove”. Tamils call it Pathekai Pura or Thamil Puro. The Emerald Dove is the national bird of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The Emerald Dove has a number of subspecies, the Sri Lanka population is considered to be an endemic race (Chalcophaps indica robinsoni). In Sri Lanka, it cannot be mistaken for any other bird species.
The Common Emerald Dove is a medium-sized pigeon, about 25 cm in length. The adult male has a white patch on the edge of the shoulders and a bright grey crown.
It feeds on various seeds, grains and berries, mainly on the ground, where they are searching for fallen fruits. Candle-nut Trees (Sabium sebiferum) and Caster-oil Plant (Ricinus communis) are attracting these doves with their seeds. Emerald Doves are not very shy, if disturbed, they rather walk away than fly away.
The Emerald Dove lives solitary or in pairs. Males perform a bobbing dance and curr deeply during courtship. Emerald Dove breeds all the year round, but there is a peak breeding season in February to March. Possibly there is second preferred breeding period in September.
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