Jambu Fruit Dove – Bird of Regrets

One fine day in May 2013, a bird smashed into the glass sliding doors on our balcony. This has happened a few times before with mynas and starlings 😦 but luckily nowadays there haven’t been any collisions.

Since we only started birding last year, the general unenthusiastic response was: “Oh no another bird crashed on our balcony.” Fortunately the bird was just stunned. It was placed in a box with some water to recover. We examined the  normal-looking (to us at that time) pigeon-like bird for a few minutes, took a few pictures and went off to resume our normal business. After a couple of hours, the bird started flapping its wings so we released it from our balcony. It flew off and we promptly forgot about it.

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Our mom says this is like a ‘proof of life’ picture – see the date on our local paper?

Recently, we were scrolling through some of our old pictures when suddenly we saw photographs of a strange bird, taken at home. On closer inspection, we found it was a strangely coloured dove that we thought we had never seen before! :O We vaguely remembered it smashing into our balcony window so long ago. Immediately we searched about it and found this:


Description: The Jambu Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus jambu) is a colourful fruit dove usually found in mangroves or forests. The male has a dark pink face, pink breast and white belly, while the female has a pinkish-purple face, green breast and white belly. Both have green backs and wings, yellow beaks and a funny white eye-ring. Juveniles look like the female except with green faces. They’re shy and inconspicuous birds that like to camouflage in trees.

Status: Uncommon non-breeding visitor in Singapore. Near-threatened due to deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia 😦

Diet: Fruits like the jambu fruit (obviously)

Fun fact: The jambu fruit dove usually eats fruits directly from the tree but if hornbills or monkeys drop some, they will eat it on the ground :3


When we realized it was a female jambu fruit dove we started flailing around and screaming “new bird!!” And to top it off, it’s an uncommon bird in Singapore, which you can see in this article from the Bird Ecology Study Group: http://www.besgroup.org/2008/01/01/arrival-of-the-jambu-fruit-dove/

As we read about how people flocked to see the bird when in the meantime one smashed into our balcony and we didn’t even care, we weren’t sure whether to laugh or cry. We could have touched the rare and special (to us) bird. 😦 It was right in front of us! NOOOO. 😦 😦

Now whenever we see pigeon-shaped birds, we occasionally wonder if they are jambu fruit doves. That jambu fruit dove that smashed into our window still haunts us. We really wish we had started birdwatching earlier! This goes to show that you have to notice and appreciate things that may seem mundane. We really hope to see it again someday.

Other pictures (not so great because we didn’t bother to get great pictures 😥 ):

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In its box

Hellooo? Does anyone know who I am?? A Jambu Fruit Dove!! IMG_5781c_1200 Our Tita Maria (who got to touch it!!!!!!!) releasing the dove from our balcony. Please come back! 😦 IMG_5786c_1200

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