Yellow-footed Green Pigeons

Yellow-footed green pigeon, on a tree in an urban park in GK-1, Delhi.

Yellow-footed green pigeons (Harial in Hindi), are rather beautiful birds, roosting in large numbers on fig and other trees. They blend with the the foliage so well that Salim Ali is prompted to write:
Their coloration obiliterates them completely in the green foliage so long as they remain still, and the birds have learnt to take full advantage of this. The unexpected numbers that will tumble out of a banyan and fly away on a shot being fired is often quite bewildering. - Ali/Daniels, Book of Indian Birds, 12th edn. p. 158.

Yellow-footed green pigeons are possibly our most common green pigeons. The species has also been seen at IIT Kanpur, but I first encounted this species in Manas National Park in Assam (It is called laitha or bor haitha in Assamese). It was a pleasant surprise to find a tree in GK-1 E-block park (New Delhi) infested with these colourful birds.

I spotted about two dozen green pigeons on this tree, I am sure there were more. They foraged the berries (pls let me know if you know the name of the tree) for most of two hours.

Bird 503 in the Ali/Ripley Handbook.

Images: Yellow-Footed Green Pigeons

What? You talking to me?

most of the time though, they were snoozing...

Can you spot the three pigeons?

Like most birds, pigeons can turn their heads by 180 degrees.

These ones are sitting directly beneath the one above.

looking right...

another pigeon, on the other side of the tree

green pigeons sport a rather goody-goody look....

From Assam

These images are from the watchtower on Uchila beat, Manas National Park Bansbari range. Note that although the feet are distinctly yellow, the body colouration is a bit different - the green becomes pale grey on the chest.

flock of about fifty, roosting on a tree (14 visible)

At IIT Kanpur

The yellow-footed has also been sighted in IIT Kanpur, but I am yet to sight one here.

This image is due to Sainath Vellal. The colouration is similar to the birds in Delhi.

Amitabha Mukerjee January 23, 2010