Two is a company, three's a clutch in a suburban population of Red-eyed Doves

  • Derek Engelbrecht
  • Graeme Engelbrecht


The doves and pigeons are characterized by small clutch sizes of 1?2 eggs and the production of crop milk. Reports of supernormal clutch size of three or more eggs are extremely rare. Here we provide the first evidence of three separate records of supernormal clutches/broods of three in the Red-eyed Dove. It is possible that a relatively high quality, protein-rich diet of adults and nestlings in this urban population may partially offset the lower protein content of seeds when the production of crop milk becomes insufficient to sustain the growing nestlings. This may enable parents to successfully produce and raise clutches of three.


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