Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

Sexual cycles and food of the doves Streptopelia chinensis and S. senegalensis in Australia

HJ Frith, JL McKern and LW Braithwaite

Emu 76(1) 15 - 24
Published: 1976


The sexual cycles, food and feeding habits of S. chinensis in Sydney, NSW, Melbourne, Vic., and Perth, WA, and those of S. senegalensis in Perth have been examined.

In S. chinensis in each city and in S. senegalensis in Perth, many males were producing abundant sperm and many females had enlarged ovarian follicles in each month of the year. Nevertheless there were cycles of gonadal size in each city. The gonads were greatest in spring and summer and least in autumn and winter but in S. chinensis the phase of the cycle differed between the cities. There was reason to believe that the food, waste grain and bread, was abundant at all times and that its availability Was not greatly influenced by rainfall and other environmental factors. Supply of food probably was not the sole cause of the difference in phase of the cycles. Some of the difference in phase would have been caused by different genetic composition of the populations in the three cities.


© Royal Australian Ornithologists Union 1976

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