Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Jambu fruit dove

Thai: นกเปล้าหน้าแดง, nok plao na daeng

Binomial name: Ptilinopus jambu, Johann Friedrich Gmelin, 1789

The jambu fruit dove (Ptilinopus jambu) is a smallish colourful fruit dove. It is a resident breeding species in southern Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei and the Indonesian islands of Kalimantan, Sumatra and Java.

The jambu fruit dove inhabits mangrove swamps and lowland rain forests up to 1500 m and is also found in second growth woodland. The male holds a breeding territory, advertised by raising its wings, bobbing its body and cooing. It will defend its territory with a quick peck if the territorial display fails. The female builds a flimsy nest of twigs, roots and grasses, which are collected by her mate, in a tree and lays one or sometimes two white eggs which are incubated for about 20 days to hatching, with a further 12 or more days to fledging.

The jambu fruit dove is 23 – 27 cm long and weighs about 42 g. It is a plump small-headed bird with soft feathers and very distinctive colouring including a white eye ring, orange bill and red legs. The call is a soft, low coo.

The adult male has a crimson face with a black chin, unmarked green upperparts and white underparts, with a pink patch on the breast and a chocolate brown undertail. The female differs from the male by having a dull purple face with a dark chin. The underparts are green with a white belly and cinnamon undertail. The immature jambu fruit dove resembles the female but has a green face. The young male acquires its full adult plumage in about 39 weeks from fledging. Immature males are similar in appearance to females.

The jambu fruit dove is a shy and inconspicuous bird, camouflaged against the forest canopy by its green plumage. It is usually seen alone or in pairs, but a sizable flock may gather when feeding at a fruit tree. It eats fruit directly from the tree, or from the ground if items have been dropped by hornbills or monkeys. Like other doves, but unlike most birds, it can drink by sucking.

Extensive deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia means that this dove is now threatened, although its ability to live in second growth and at higher elevation means that its situation is not as critical as that of some forest bird species. The jambu fruit dove is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Columbiformes
Family
Columbidae
Genus
Ptilinopus
Species
Ptilinopus jambu

Common names

  • English: Jambu fruit dove
  • Thai: นกเปล้าหน้าแดง, nok plao na daeng

Synonyms

  • Ptilinopus jambu, Johann Friedrich Gmelin (1789)

Conservation status

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Jambu fruit dove, Ptilinopus jambu in Thailand
  • Khao Banthad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Luang National Park
  • Khao Phra - Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Thale Ban National Park

Range map of Ptilinopus jambu in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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