Early in January 2016, while driving along Lim Chu Kang Lane 1, I stopped the car to photograph a male Red Turtle Dove, Streptopelia tranquebarica, that was flushed by traffic up a lamp post.
Moments later, the dove flew down to the road and started to puff itself up around a brownish clump lying motionless on the road.
Looking through my binoculars, i realised that it was displaying to a dead female Red Turtle Dove! I’ve never seen a live bird displaying to a dead one – interesting indeed.
After a while, the male started to climb on top of the dead female.
Then the male sat on the female and copulated, or attempted to copulate with the dead female, shifting her tail right-left-right a few times!
The female is probably a roadkill, which is not uncommon on rural roads such as this one.
A quick search on the internet revealed that necrophilia has been reported in some species of birds, but not the Red Turtle Dove. This incident could be the first instance of necrophilia observed for the Red Turtle Dove.
Nature surprises in unexpected manners!