The world’s most unique dove species, the Jambu fruit dove is mostly found in South East Asia. Its green feathers make it difficult to spot among the foliage, but its soft cooing reveals its presence. Like most doves, the nostrils are high on the upper bill.
The Jambu fruit dove occurs in South East Asia, in southern Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, and in Kalimantan, Sumatra and Java in Indonesia. It inhabits mangrove swamps, lowland rain forests and second growth woodland.
The Jambu fruit dove is an inconspicuous and shy bird, its green feathers acting as perfect camouflage. Most of its time is spent roosting, nesting and feeding. Generally in pairs or solitary, a large flock will gather to feed at a fruiting tree, plucking fruit directly off the tree or eating those knocked onto the ground by hornbills and monkeys. This bird can put its whole bill into water and suck water up, whereas most birds can dip only part of their bill into water, keeping their nostrils out of the water, and then must tip their heads back so the water can trickle down their throats. They make a soft, low coo.
Jambu fruit doves are monogamous breeders. This means that both males and females have only one partner. The breeding season is November–February and July. They have a breeding territory, announced by the male by raising his wings and cooing while his head moves forward and he bobs his body up and down. If this threat display doesn’t work, he will also aggressively defend his territory with a peck. A flimsy-looking nest of sticks, roots and grasses is interwoven into the branches of a tree. The male brings the material while the female builds their nest. Usually 1 egg is laid, sometimes 2, and incubation is for 2-3 weeks by both parents, with the nest never being left alone during incubation. Male and female both help to raise the hatchlings. Within an hour of hatching, the helpless chick will be fed on nutritious dove's milk, made in the adults’ crops. At about the 10th day, the chick’s eyes open, but its wings are already functional. Soon it will leave the nest with the parents, who keep very close. The chick is weaned when it is 8-10 weeks old.
Jambu fruit dove numbers are declining at a reasonably rapid rate, due mainly to habitat degradation and loss, as well as pressure from hunting.
The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Jambu fruit dove total population size, although it’s generally uncommon. Currently this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) and its numbers today are decreasing.