Unlike in my last BOTW, where I hardly ever saw the Collared Palm-Thrush except in my yard, I usually see this week’s Bird of the Week everywhere except in my yard. You don’t have to go very far out of the city to hear or see an Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove but even though my old house was just on the edge of Lusaka, I never saw any of them there. I only had to go a few more kilometers North before I started seeing them though, and they are quite common on virtually any trip to a national park or out into a village in the bush.
I suppose you wouldn’t find them in a plains area, but there is a lot of woodland and savannah here in Zambia which is their preferred habitat. I have been on many game drives in Kafue National Park where they fly up in front of the vehicle by the dozens all along the road.
It is when the fly up that you get a good look at their wings. Overall their body looks kind of greyish brown but their wings when they fly are a beautiful deep rufous. Though it is hard to get a picture of one flying, fortunately sometimes they don’t scatter too far and you can get some good pictures if you aren’t driving too fast.
In the first picture the wing spots just look dark and this is what they will look like most of the time but in this second picture you can see the way the green spots on the wings are actually iridescent in the sunlight which is where their name, Emerald-spotted, comes from. Another beautiful bird!