(No.11, Vol.2, Nov 2012 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Green pigeons

Green pigeons caught by net

Green pigeons feeding

A net for catching pigeons

There are more than 10 species of Green pigeons, such as Thick-billed Green Pigeon (Treron curvirostra), Pin-tailed Green Pigeon (Treron apicauda) and Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans griseicappila Schelegel or Treron vernans). These three species belong to the Columbidae family. They are all found in Vietnam. Green Pigeon’s feathers are always green, and sometimes yellow, red and brown. They don’t crow, but they howl. Every morning when they wake up and every afternoon when they’re about to go to sleep, they eat soil. Their main foods at noon are jungle fruits. They live in flocks from August to March, communicate with each other by howling and live in couples for the rest of the year to build nests. Green pigeon lives a monogamous life.
Taking advantage of the Green Pigeon’s characteristic, professional hunters place nets with one to two decoy pigeons at empty grounds where the Green Pigeon often comes to feed in the early morning or at sunset.
A Green Pigeon doesn’t eat alone. Normally, a couple of birds will fly to the place and stand on tops of high trees to observe. If there are no signs of danger, they will howl to their flocks. Then, a flock of them will swoop down and feed.
The trap to catch the Green Pigeon is designed into two wings; each wing is 2mx5m in size, wide open, and connected by an iron wire which leads to the thum, where hunters hide. When the hunters pull the wire, the two wings of the nest will close quickly. Each success means a whole flock of Green Pigeons will be captured.
Green pigeons often make their nests between April and June and lay two white eggs per couple in their simple nest. They are very good at raising chicks. Since they eat jungle fruits and spread seeds everywhere, their existence in nature has a major impact on the development of forest ecosystem.



Text and photos by Le Hoai Phuong