Doves: 22 Great Facts about the Peace Symbol

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

The dove is a bird descended from the Columbidae family and the Columbiformes order. The names pigeon and dove are often used interchangeably. This bird is known for having several colours, such as blue, brown, grey, and white. It is small in size, and the average age is 10 years.

It should be noted here that the dove is usually the smallest bird when compared to the larger pigeon, as the two species belong to the same family and are similar in appearance. Doves are widely spread and they are found in every part of the world, with the exception of Antarctica, and Australia, for example, is the original home of the Diamond Dove.

As for the ring-necked dove, it is native to Africa, and despite the spread of pigeons and doves all over the world, the most incredible diversity of it is found in Southeast Asia and Australia. Birds are characterised by their beautiful shapes that always catch the eye, and the birds are always migratory and do not fixate on a specific place, so they travel throughout the year.

Perhaps the bird we will talk about today is the dove, which has bright colours and different types and does not live in all climatic regions. Also, the dove has many functions and uses, which we will discuss in that topic, in addition to the different types of doves.

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Dove Facts for Kids

Dove Shape

Doves of all kinds are known for having small heads relative to their bodies, small and narrow beaks, and short, soft legs, which cause their heads to shake back and forth while walking, in addition to having pretty long tails, and they have distinctive colours that help identify their types. The different colours, as the number of its colours, may reach 35 recognised colours, and the most famous colours of the dove are grey, white, brown, and peach.


Doves feed mainly on the seeds of cereals and herbs, and some of their species need more than 2500 seeds per day to cover their high-calorie needs, and they also feed on some types of fruits, and the white-winged dove feeds on snails to obtain calcium, and on small pebbles to grind plant materials in her intestines.


Doves can be found in open forests and urban areas, and some species live in dense forests, as they can always be seen on power wires and tree trunks.


Doves are pets, but care must be taken while dealing with them, as attempts to force interaction can frighten them or cause them to break their wing. Still, some doves can be tamed manually and get used to eating from the hands of their breeders, and they are also considered social birds closely with other birds.


The dove bird emits a continuous cooing, which is relatively constant and is not considered the sound of a parrot. Human acceptance of this cooing differs according to their tastes as some people can enjoy it and consider it comfortable for the soul, while others may find it annoying and do not like to listen to it.

Male and Female Doves

It is difficult to distinguish between male and female in doves, as the average person cannot distinguish between them unless he has a great experience in the world of doves and his upbringing makes him know the male from the female. Still, some points make the individual can distinguish between them and those that we will address.

The size of the male dove is larger than the size of the female, and it feeds at a higher rate than her, especially in its primitive stages. The female’s tail feathers grow before the male’s, but the male’s and female’s wing feathers grow together.

As for the female, she may make sounds at intervals a day, and the male size is larger than the size of the female, and the male puts the straw to make the nest, while the female is the one who arranges the nest.


The incubation period for doves takes approximately two to three weeks, and on the sixteenth day of the incubation period, the crop milk is prepared by the parents. Doves feed their children for the first four days and then train them to pick up grains, and the average size of a dove is about 709 grams.

Types of Doves

  1. Laughing Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia senegalensis. It is sometimes separated as stigmatopelia.
  2. Spotted Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia chinensis.
  3. Eurasian collared Dove: scientific name is Dicatoco streptobelia.
  4. Barbary Dove Ringed Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia risoria.
  5. African Collared Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia roseogrisea.
  6. European turtle Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia turtur.
  7. Oriental Turtle Dove: scientific name is Ostreptopelia orientalis.
  8. Dusky Turtle Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia lugens.
  9. Adamawa Turtle Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia hypopyrrha.
  10. Island Collared Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia bitorquata.
  11. White-winged Collared Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia reichenowi.
  12. Mourning Collared Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia decipiens.
  13. Red-eyed Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia semitorquata.
  14. Ring-necked Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia capicola.
  15. Vinaceous Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia vinacea.
  16. Red Turtle Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia tranquebarica. It can be easily distinguished as the Pink Dove.
  17. Madagascar dove: scientific name is (Streptopelia picturata.
  18. Malagasy Turtle Dove.
  19. Rodrigues Turtle Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia (picturata) rodericana.
  20. The Pink Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia mayeri.
  21. Réunion Pink Dove: scientific name is Streptopelia duboisi.
  22. The Diamond Dove: belongs to Australia.
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Turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) perched on a branch and looking out for danger

What Diseases Affect Doves?

This bird is highly susceptible to infection with red mites, which hide during the day and come out at night to feed on the bird’s blood. As for doves in the wild, they are susceptible to infection with roundworms, tapeworms, and other types of worms.

They can also be infected with canker disease, a respiratory disease that appears in the form of swelling in the dove’s throat and cheesy growth around the mouth and is considered a fatal disease if not treated. It transmits some diseases to humans, such as chlamydia and salmonella (bacterial infections). Doves are generally healthy birds.

Facts about Doves

Among the interesting facts about the dove bird are the following:

  1. They have short necks and tiny beaks.
  2. They are also short in height and stocky.
  3. The length of the bird ranges from 15 to 30 cm.
  4. Its size ranges from 1 to 2 kg.
  5. They also have many colours, which increased in the 20th century after hybridisation and research operations based on them.
  6. They differ in eating according to their types:
    • Some types feed on fruits only.
    • Some other species feed on grains, such as lentils and seeds.
    • Some types feed on small insects.
  7. They communicate with each other by performing many physical displays in addition to vocal and visual communication.
  8. They also make whistling sounds during their flight.
  9. They are medium-sized birds with an average length of 9-14.2 inches (22-36 cm).
  10. They are fast in flight; Because of their broad oval wings and long, pointed tail, the fastest species are mourning doves, which can travel at an average speed of about 50 mph (80 km/h).
  11. Their average mass ranges from 0.02-0.07 lb (0.92-1.41 oz), with males being heavier and larger than females.
  12. They are used in various geological and mining operations, and approximately 16 types of doves carry out these works.

Doves vs Pigeons

Doves differ slightly from pigeons, and the main differences between them are:

  1. Doves come in various colours.
  2. Doves are relatively smaller in size than pigeons.
  3. Doves cannot be raised at home, unlike pigeons.
  4. Doves do not stay in one place for a long time and never return to their origin, unlike pigeons.
  5. Doves are not afraid of predators and have great courage, unlike pigeons.
  6. Doves and pigeons are often confused all over the world.

If you enjoyed learning about this facinating animal why not check out more fantastic facts about other animals: Koalas, Ostriches, Land Animals, Sharks, Raccoons, Moon and Sun Bears, Rats, Sheep, Chickens, Cats, Pandas, Monkeys and Whales.

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