The common emerald dove

Writer: Isaac Cohen  |  Editor: Liu Minxia  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-06-27

A common emerald dove forages for food in Bijia Hill Park in Futian District on June 19, 2021.

One of the rarest species you can find in Shenzhen is the emerald dove (Chalcophaps indica), that is, if you have keen eyesight, because they are really difficult to spot due to their camouflage colors that blend perfectly with the ground cover where they live.

绿翅金鸠在深圳是一种不易见的鸟类,若想在山间找到这些与植被融为一体的美丽鸟儿,往往需要过人的眼力。

A common emerald dove perches on a branch in Bijia Hill Park in Futian District on June 19, 2021.

The common emerald doves are beautiful indeed, their faces garnished with a striking silver cap that draws a fabulous line over the eyes and back to the head. And their wings' feathers are emerald green, sometimes also adorned by a white layer on the top. The beak is red and the neck is brown; the tip of the back feathers is blackish. Altogether it brings a fantastic combination of colors that are extremely pleasant to observe.

绿翅金鸠的外表非常漂亮,色彩鲜艳,赏心悦目:雄鸟银白色的贯眼纹一直延伸到头顶。双翼呈祖母绿色,部分个体的翅膀顶部沾少许银色,喙红色,颈部棕色,背部覆羽颜色则较为灰暗。

These amazing birds are usually loners or sometimes observed as couples, which is another reason why it’s not too easy to find them. They usually remain on the ground foraging for fruit, small plants and seeds, and prefer dense forests like the ones we find in parks such as Bijia Hill, which is home to one of the few couples that inhabit the urban area of Shenzhen.

绿翅金鸠属独居鸟类,最多雌雄成对觅食,所以不容易被观察到。它们一般在地面寻找水果、低矮植物及种子等食物,喜欢植被茂密的生境,因此生活在深圳市区的个体数量很少,其中一对就住在笔架山公园。

A common emerald dove perches on a branch in Bijia Hill Park in Futian District on May 30, 2021.

The green doves don’t lay many eggs, mostly just one or two, and it is common that only one of the hatchlings survives, as the newborns are not very strong. Being blind, naked and very weak, they require strong parental care that both parents are responsible for from the moment of incubation. They take about two weeks to be ready to fly. When fully grown, they reach a length of about 25 centimeters.

绿翅金鸠每窝一般只产一到两只卵,就算是在生了两只卵的情况下,通常也只有一只能存活。它们的雏鸟属晚成鸟,刚孵化时全身皮肤裸露,目不能视,非常弱小,需要亲鸟精心照料、轮流喂养两周后才能学会飞行。成鸟一般可以长到25厘米。

As sad as it may sound, the biggest threat to emerald doves are humans. As people like to keep the beautiful birds in cages as pets, their illegal trafficking is common. Also, because of habitat loss, the species is scattered to places where survival can be easier. It's not quite common to see them in every park of the city.

悲哀的是,人类恰恰是绿翅金鸠最大的敌人。因为外型美丽,它们经常被违法捕捉作为笼养鸟出售,同时,由于栖息地的丧失,绿翅金鸠分散在适合它们生存的山野丛林中,普通的市政公园里很难看到它们的身影。

Although a rare sight in parks of the city, the species is not considered endangered, for there are plenty of them in their habitats in the wilderness.

所幸虽不常见,绿翅金鸠目前仍是无危物种,在栖息地的种群数量依然丰富。