The Yellow-Footed Green Pigeon
They have white beaks, yellow tinged grey heads, yellow hoods and a triangular lilac shoulder patch. Their backs and tails have varied shades of green, wing edges are pale with dark tips, underside starts with yellow and then merges to green, undertail is white with brown edges. They get their name from their yellow feet. Pretty colorful…
I cannot miss mentioning their eyes…hypnotic violet with a purple ring.
These pigeons are very shy and like to remain hidden – blending very well in the green foliage.
They eat small fruit & berries and are quite choosy about which ones to eat. The wrong ones are promptly discarded. I have seen them swollowing whole berries without removing the pits.
They make very tiny nests compared to their size.
They consume a variety of berries and play a very important in seed dispersal.
l once saw three birds on a fruiting tree. One of them started to wag his tail, then, another one also followed. They both continued wagging for a while, trying their best to impress the third one, who was busy eating. Then, all of a sudden, one of the wagging birds started to chase the other one. The one who was being chased flew away. After his rival was gone, our wagger stopped wagging, relaxed and started eating.
The two of them kept on eating for a while. The one who had been eating all this while flew away. Our wagging bird also followed. I guess, all this was a sign of aggression and a display of dominance.
There are seven types of Green pigeons in India and all of them are faring badly.
The behaviour of these birds indicates that they are very scared. In the past, they were said to be commonly found on roadside fruiting trees in large flocks of 30-40. I am not sure why their numbers have come down. One reason could be tree felling and urbanisation. Unlike their cousins, the Rock Pigeons, who have been able to adapt somewhat to the urbanisation, Green pigeons have not left their natural habitat.
While now we are trying to plant more trees, not all trees that are being planted are fruit bearing – that means less and less food for these birds.
Online pictures of these birds getting hunted in a neighboring country have confirmed my earlier suspicion that hunting could be a big reason for decline in their numbers.
Will the food be abundant always..??