Common Emerald Dove

Emerald Dove  Chalcophaps indica


  • Chalcophaps : Greek Word khalkos- bronze; phaps- pigeon { Bonze coloured pigeon}
  • Indica: From India

Vernacular names: Ben: Raj ghughu, Ass: Mati kupou, Sil kopou, Cachar: Daotualai, Lepcha: Ka-er, Guj: Neelam holi, Mar: Pachu kavda/ Hola,Ta: Maragada pura, Padaki pura, Pathekai pura, Thamil pura, Te: Andi bellaguvva, Mal: Omana pravu, Manika pravu, Kan: Paeehe kapota, Sinh: Nil kobeyiya, Hindi: Raj Khafta / Panna Khafta

Distribution in India: Wide spread resident of Western Ghats, South Eastern parts , East , North East and Andaman & Nicobar Islands in India.

Description: Size of 23–27 cm; wt. of 89–171 g. The male has white on forehead and stripe over and extending behind eye; crown and nape are bluish grey; neck and breast are dark brownish purple, more or less tinged with blue-grey along median line of hindneck and becoming purplish grey on belly and flanks. It has small, poorly-defined white patch on bend of wing; mantle, scapulars, wing-coverts and inner secondaries are iridescent emerald or bronzy green. The primaries and outer secondaries are slaty black with some chestnut on inner webs. The underwing is chestnut; lower back is blackish, tinged coppery or green and crossed by two pale grey bands. The rump and uppertail-coverts are grey, feathers are tipped black; central tail feathers are greyish black, outer ones are blue-grey with broad black or purplish subterminal bands and pale grey tips. The bill is orange-red or red, with purplish base; legs and feet are red or pinkish. The female is similar, but rufous or chestnut-brown where male is purplish; lacks white shoulder patch; white and grey on head is restricted to front of forehead and stripe over eye. The juvenile is predominantly red-brown with blackish bars and much reduced iridescence on mantle and wings; adult plumage is quickly acquired. Races differ as follows: robinsoni is like nominate, but in male blue-grey crown reaches onto upper mantle, and female tends to show more extensive grey cap than other races, wing length is marginally smaller; maxima is slightly larger than nominate, but male is otherwise basically identical to nominate indica, though female is more easily differentiated by almost completely lacking grey in crown and having forehead suffused sandy buff; race augusta is intermediate between maxima and nominate, being smaller and darker than maxima, with dark bluish upper mantle, bluer mantle, faint grey bands on back especially in female, darker underparts with bluish cast and almost black undertail-coverts, while females of both augusta and maxima have weak silvery brows; in race natalis male has more orangey-buff underparts, especially on belly, darker blue-grey cap, and less extensive, grey shoulder-patch, while female has sandy-buff forehead and supercilium, rufous shoulder, rich rufous rump to uppertail except outermost rectrices and neck and underparts are sandier; and race minima is darker than nominate indica and a comparatively small race.

Habitat:It is found in forest types and adjacent habitats, including primary rainforest, wet forest, mangroves, gallery forest, clearings, bamboo and teak forests, and agricultural country, including orchards and plantations near forests. It is found from lowlands and foothills, up to 2200m.

Food habits:It eats seeds and fallen fruits, some invertebrates, insects, like termites, and snails. It frequents farmyards where it will feed with domestic fowl and swine. It mainly feeds on the ground below tree cover, occasionally in trees. It feeds alone or in pairs, and may visit mineral seeps. It walks and runs nimbly.

Breeding habits: They breed year-round in many areas, often with peak during late dry season through wet season; Feb, Apr–Sept in Peninsular Malaysia and Dec–Feb on Borneo; Oct–Feb on Christmas I. The nest is a slight platform of twigs, placed in densely foliated tree, bush, vines, epiphytic fern or tree-fern, also in oil-palm plantations; placed above ground. They lay a clutch of 2 eggs. The incubation period is 14–16 days . The female is solely responsible for incubating duties. The young are tended by both adults, and are born semi-altricial, nidicolous and covered with sparse yellow down at hatching. The fledging period is 12–16 days. The chicks leave nest and able to fly by 21 days.