Pigeon and Dove

Common Pigeon (top), Pale-capped Pigeon (bottom)
Spotted Dove (top), Pin-tailed Green Pigeon (bottom)

Pigeon and Dove (kabutar and ghughu) plump and rounded-bodied birds of the family Columbidae, order Columbiformes. Their flight is swift and powerful, short and direct. Sexes alike in most species. Often fly long distance for fruits, seeds, grains buds, drupes etc. as food. Nests look like sketchy platforms of a few sticks in trees, on edges or in holes in cliffs etc. Eggs are normally two. Incubation and care of young by both sexes. Initially the nestlings are fed on a secretion of the parent's crop known as 'pigeon's milk'.

They have booming calls or mellow musical whistles. The common rock dove was domesticated some 5,000 years ago. The homing instinct of some domestic breeds extensively exploited for carrying messages prior to the advent of wireless telegraphy and even during the two World Wars.

The family Columbidae has 289 species worldwide, 30 in Indian sub-continent. In Bangladesh there are 17 species, of which 2 are migratory. The resident species are Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica), Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), Pale-capped Pigeon (C. punicea), Green Imperial Pigeon (Ducula aenea), Mountain Imperial Pigeon (D. badia), Barred Cuckoo Dove (Macropygia unchall), Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis), Eurasian Collared Dove (S. decaocto), Laughing Dove (S. senegalensis), Red Collared Dove (S. tranquebarica), Pin-tailed Green Pigeon (Treron apicauda), Orange-breasted Green Pigeon (T. bicincta), Thick-billed Green Pigeon (T. curvirostra), Yellow-footed Green Pigeon (T. phoenicoptera), and Pompadour Green Pigeon (T. pompadora). The migratory species are Oriental Turtle Dove (S. orientalis) and Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon (T. sphenura).

Green pigeon (harial) pigeon like birds belonging to the family Columbidae, order Columbiformes. The order also includes doves, and other pigeons. There are 140 species of pigeons worldwide. Bangladesh has 10 species, of which 6 are green pigeons. [Md Khalilur Rahman]