Triplets - An Unusual Breeding of the Pink-necked Green Pigeon


My Pink-necked Green Pigeons were imported from the Philippines around 1987, along with many other species by David Mohilef and me.

First Eggs

Early in 1989, my pair of Pinknecked Green Pigeons laid two sets of eggs. The passage of time proved the eggs to be infertile. After that laying, I did not pay very much attention to the birds when they began nesting for a third time. At least, I didn't pay much attention until I observed an egg shell on the ground, near the nest site. I looked more closely and found a baby chick had hatched. About a day and a half later, I noted another egg shell on the ground. I didn't check the nest very closely at that time for fear I would disturb the birds. I never did see any signs of the third egg, which made the "event" even more important to me.

When the first baby fledged, I felt good about the success. I was overjoyed when the second baby fledged. I almost didn't believe my eyes, but I really sat up and took notice when the third baby fledged two days later.

I had never heard of any pigeon or dove laying more than one or two eggs in a clutch, let alone successfully hatching three babies. I made a close check. No, my eyes were not deceiving me, for there on the perch sat three babies with the parents.

Believe me, when I saw the three babies on that first day, I just had to go back and check and recheck to make certain the birds were actually there. I did that three or four times.


A Good Question

A first question would probably occur to a breeder. Were there any other Pink-necked Green Pigeons in the same flight, or anywhere else in the vicinity for that matter? The answer was no. There were no other birds of this species anywhere about.

I was quite excited about this event even though it was not a first breeding. Lynn Hall had hatched two singles earlier that same year. I broke the news to Professor Carl Nather, Al Liebeman, Dale Thompson, Lynn Hall and a few others. All agreed they had never heard, seen, or read about a triple hatching like this one.

At times like this, when an unusual, significant event takes place, I wish our good friend Dr. Jean Delacour was still with us. He, perhaps, would have had some words of wisdom or insight into the situation.

I truly wonder, was this the first hatching of triplets of any pigeon or dove species? Perhaps it was. If anyone knows of such a situation elsewhere, or can shed some light on the successful hatching and/or rearing of triplets of the species, I would like to hear about it.

Though I have long been interested in birds and bird breeding, an event such as this really makes the entire activity more exciting and worthwhile.

Editor's Note: If anyone has seen or knows of a similar situation, the author would like to know about it. Responses can be addressed to Mr. Hanover c/o of the "Watchbird" editor.•