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Asian Emerald Dove - BirdForum Opus

A male bird
Photo by Romy Ocon
Subic rainforest, Zambales province, Philippines, February 2006
Chalcophaps indica


Subspecies natalis
Photo by Swissboy
Christmas Island, Australia, December 2007

23–27 cm (9-10¾ in) A small and short-tailed dove.

  • Emerald-green on wings and mantle
  • Primaries and outer secondaries slaty black with chestnut on inner webs
  • Dark brownish purple neck and breast
  • Black tail


  • White forehead and supercilium
  • White shoulder


  • Small and stocky dove
  • Diagnostic pale lower back-bars


This species has a wide distribution in southeast Asia and Australasia. From the Indian Subcontinent to south China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Christmas Island, and islands off Papua New Guinea.

Introduced in Hong Kong.

Not migratory, but local wandering occurs. Sometimes birds are found well out of their natural range, e.g. Maldive Islands.


Juvenile male, subspecies minima
Photo by mehdhalaouate
Numfor, Papua, September 2004

Formerly considered conspecific with Pacific Emerald Dove.


Six subspecies are recognized:


Different types of forest: rain forest, mangroves, gallery forest, clearings, orchards and plantations near forest, and possibly sometimes in drier habitat.


Subspecies robinsoni
Photo by martinuk
Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, March 2015

Often quite tame, but hard to discover in the forest. May feed inconspicuously on ground. Usually found when dashing in direct flight through the forest. Flies often into windows and may be attracted by lights at night.


Breeds all year round. Nest is a platform of twigs in a tree or a bush. Lays 2 eggs.


Feeds mostly on fallen fruit and seeds, also on invertebrates (termites, snails, insects). May feed in farmyards together with domestic fowl. Usually feeds singly on the ground, sometimes in pairs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Grimmett, R, C Inskipp, and T Inskipp. 2012. Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and The Maldives, second edition. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691153490

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