Birds of Pakistan
Birds of Pakistan
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Our common birds kept/breeds include blue peafowl, flying tipplers, strawberry finch, Indian Ring Necked Parrot, Kalij Pheasant, Red Jungle Fowl, Cheer Pheasant, Indian Little Quail, Button Quail or Yellow-legged button quail, Monal Pheasant, Grey francolin, Black partridges, Western Tragopan, Spice Finch, Rain Quail or black breasted quail, Common Quail or Grey Quail, Ram Chakor, Chakor, See-see Partridge, Rock Dove, Hill Pigeon, Wood pigeon, Red Turtle Dove, Indian Ring Dove, Red Turtle Dove, Alexandrine or large Indian parakeet, Plum headed parakeet, Slaty-headed Parakeet. (This is still under construction)
got these descriptions from the book The
birds of Pakistan. Written by T.J. Roberts. The author is an
internationally recognized ornithologist whose extensive study of the
avifauna of Pakistan over a period of thirty-four years has culminated in
this comprehensive two-volume account of the bird species of Pakistan.
A stout bodied pigeon very similar in size and general appearance to the blue rock but mainly differentiated by its tail pattern which consist of a dark ashy band at the tip and base separated by broad almost white mid portion, similar in flight to the pattern of the snow pigeon.
gregarious species throughout the year, feeding in flocks in the terraced
cultivated fields in winter and nesting colonials in suitable cliffs in
the summer. Their feeding habits are similar to Columba livia, being
mainly granivorous, supplementing their diet with green shoot and leaves
and occasionally small mollusca such as and snails.
males have a bowing display similar to that of the blue rock pigeon and
nothing distinctive seems to have been recorded elsewhere about the
display of this pigeon which suggests that display and courtship is
similar to C. Livia. It is an early breeder, nesting in small colonies on
cliffs and crags. In the USSR it has been recorded as starting to nest as
early as February with many young just fledging as late as September in
northeastern Tibet. A platform of twigs or plant stem is placed in the
general body build is like the common rock dove with broad square tail,
stout body and small head, but it averages slightly larger in size than c.
livia. The whole of the neck and breast is pure white with the head
contrasting sharply, being a dark blue Grey. The sexes are alike.
Distribution and Status
resident high alpine and mountain dwelling pigeon, which in our area is
more widespread in distribution and found in more southerly latitudes than
Columba rupestris. In wintertime it occasionally descends to the broader
lower valleys, as low as 1500 meters.
be seen in small flocks in wintertime as well as in the summer and it is
colonial in nesting also.
nest in small colonies in cliffs or steep rock faces. Either in river
gorges or on mountain slopes. The same site is used year after year and
the nests made of stick platforms, become very fouled with droppings. The
eggs are plain white and normally two in number. In captivity the
incubation period is 17 to 19 days and both parents share incubation
duties. Captive birds were noted to have bowing display with the hinder
part of the body and tail being jerked upwards as the head bobbed forward
and downward . In the wild they have a display flight similar to the rock
pigeon with wing clapping and sailing on stiffly spread and slightly
raised wings in the vicinity of the nest colony.
very compact pigeon, slightly shorter tailed and smaller in overall sizes
than the rock pigeon. It is similar in general body shape and coloration
to c.livia but if examined closely will be found to have only two, or a
third partly abbreviated, black bar or rather spots on the wing coverts
and to have the mid back region much paler than in the plains population
of c.livia. The head and upper breast is a distinctly mauve pink tone and
the sides of the neck are metallic emerald green. The tail has a dark
blackish terminal band, and the under wing coverts in light are very pale
Grey to white. The bill is greenish slaty with the cere greenish yellow.
distribution and status
winter migrant only to Pakistan, being found mostly in the plains west of
the Indus river or in their immediate riverain areas where it is highly
gregarious in both roosting and feeding. A small population breeds in
northern Afghanistan but probably most of the birds wintering in Pakistan
breed in Asiating Russia, in Turkmenia, Tashkent and Tien Shan,
roost in trees and when disturbed commonly fly up into trees in sharp
contrast to columba livia which prefers buildings or earth cliffs and rock
ledges for perching. Their flight is strong and rapid and when a flock
takes off their wings make a high whirring noise. They feed on berries
such as ziziphus and mulberries plucked from trees, as well grass seeds
and seeds of cultivated cereals. However, they feed mostly on the ground
in their winter quarters.
with suitable nest holes and scarce in the arid steppic hill country where
it breeds but Hagen found nests in hollow willow trees They also nest in
holes in poplar trees. However, most breeding is in earth cliffs both in
the Russia and Afghanistan. Courtship
involves much cooing from the vicinity of the nest site. Nesting is in
full swing in June, July and August. The eggs are plain white and
presumably two is the normal club.
pale Grey brown dove with a pale lilac pink tint to the head and neck only
discernible in good light, and more earthy brownish Grey back and wing
coverts. The tail is blue-Grey. The breast pinkish buff, whiter on the
lower belly and under-tail coverts. The sexes are alike.
distribution and status
dove is essentially a plains species, avoiding rocky foothill. There is
however a summer migration into the broader cultivated valleys of
Baluchistan and the NWFP where it breeds. It is the commonest dove
throughout the Punjab.
largely ground feeding granivorous dove, which sometimes congregates in
large flocks in cultivated areas. Picking up seeds from threshing floors
and freshly harvested crops whilst still lying in the field. In the city
of multan they have also been noted digging up and eating newly germinated
maize crops. Their food
consisted mainly of cultivated grains including wheat, barley, rice,
mustard and linseed with a lesser proportion of weeds. They roost by night
and at intervals during the day in trees and bushes, usually congregating
in small flocks.
display flight of this species can be seen for most of the spring and
summer months. The male rises steeply with wings clapped audibly over its
back and then with tail spread and wings spread horizontally, planes down
often in a sweeping semicircle, to the accompaniment of display call,
coo-coo-cuw. Nesting is from
may to September with probably two peak breeding period in April and again
post monsoon in august/September. The
nest is a typical dove flimsy platform of inters lacing twigs placed
generally well inside a thorny bush or taller trees at heights vary from
1.5 to 2.7 meters. The
majority of clutches comprise two eggs, plain white and smooth glossy
in size between the larger collared dove and the smaller little brown dove
with a relatively shorter tail and plumper body then s.senegalensis. Its
has blue Grey head and neck sharply divided from the back and wing coverts
by s short black collar encircling the hind neck which is finely edged
with white. The back and
wings are a reddish maroon or purplish chestnut from which its name is
derived. The bill is black and the legs and feet are dull red to brownish
red. The iris is dark brown. Females
have slightly browner Grey head and are paler duller more sandy brown on
the upper part of the body.
DISTRIBUTION AND STATUS.
is an oriental species extending to Taiwan and the Philippines but
uncommon on the Malaysian archipelago. It is a summer migrant visitor to
Pakistan and India where it is more or less resident. It is abundant in
the Punjab plains. They prefer better-wooded tracts such as canal or
roadside tree plantations and avoid extensive desert regions. When they
first arrive they are often in small flocks, but they soon split up and
start pain formation and breeding.
less commensal species not so dependent for its food on cultivated grains.
Weed and grass seeds are included in greater proportion in the diet,
though it gleans cultivated grains from stubble fields and more often can
be seen feeding on the ground. They feed almost exclusively on the ground
and will sometime supplement their diet with buds and green shoots.
advertising call of this little dove fills the air during the hot days of
March and April, as birds call from the depths of leafy trees. They nest
quite high up in trees (avg. height 6.5 up to 8 meters above ground),
making the typical flimsy platform of slender twigs. The normal clutch is
2 eggs, plain white and both sexes share in nest building and incubation.
Apart from above-mentioned doves other doves are: