ABOVE: For many years this migrant Peregrine Falcon has spent the northern winter months October to March at Tg Aru beach near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The migrant peregrines that visit Borneo every winter are known to favour 2 particular types of prey (1) Bats and (2) Green Pigeons.

Despite the fact that green pigeons are abundant locally, the  Tg Aru peregrine feeds exclusively on insect eating Tomb Bats which are also abundant around Kota Kinabalu..

A small flock of Large Green Pigeons roosting in the top of a dead tree at the Maliau Basin along the Agathis Camp access road.
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The male Large Green Pigeon Treron capellei feeds almost exclusively on  large forest figs such as Ficus dubia which are too large for other species of green pigeons to swallow whole. Small flocks of Large Green Pigeons are semi-nomadic flying long distances over primary forest to find the biggest fig fruits.
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This Large Green Pigeon was killed by a Peregrine Falcon next to the access road to Agathis Camp at Maliau Basin in December 2017. Note that the head was eaten first. The Peregrine flew off when we drove past but returned later to retrieve it’s prey.
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The yellow feet are distinctive for Large Green Pigeon. There is increasing evidence that birds of prey that eat frugivorous animals such as as green pigeons may also be secondary dispersers (diplochory) of  any seeds in the gut of their prey.
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The forest at the Maliau Basin in Sabah is very rich in strangling fig trees. Most will have established on their host tree after a fig seed was defecated or regurgitated by a bird. It is entirely possible that the fig tree growing at Maliau above could have established as a result of  a Peregrine Falcon that had eaten a green pigeon.



Hall, G. 1987. Seed Dispersal By Birds Of Prey. Zimbabwe Science News 21, 2.

Thornton et al (1969) The role of animals in the colonization of  the Krakatau islands

Galetti et al (2004) Dispersal of palm seeds by Crested Caracaras

Nogales et al (2004) Evidence for long distance dispersal