Diamond Dove

Wild Status:

Near Threatened

Scientific Name:

Geopelia cuneate

Distribution:

The Diamond dove lives in the deserts of Northern and Central Australia, preferring grassy savannah or scrub close to water.

Description:

The diamond dove is one of the smallest pigeon species at about 20 cms long. It is a grey bird with white spots on the wings and reddish rings around orange eyes. The sexes look similar except the female's eye ring is less vivid and has more of a brown colour to the plumage.

Feeding and habits:

Diet consists of seeds, leaves, shoots of weeds and grasses. They also eat ants. Usually found in pairs or small groups up to about 20, never straying far from water. Much of their time is spent on the ground feeding.

Breeding and Life Expectancy:

Lifespan: 3 – 5 years in the wild, 15 to 25 years in captivity.

 

Diamond doves build fragile nests of interwoven grasses and twigs and only lay 2 white eggs which hatch after just 12 days. The young can fly at just 11 or 12 days old.

 

Interesting Facts:

  • If paired in cages, Diamond Doves are often seen cuddling and pecking each other lightly around the head and neck while shaking their wings, displaying love and affection for each other.

  • In captivity, Diamond doves can imitate calls and noises made by humans.

  • A series of short, loud coos, in the form of an alarm call, are made at a time of danger.

  • The young diamond doves lack the characteristic white spots on the wings.

  • Apart from the blue and silver varieties, several other color variations of diamond doves have been created in captivity, including the peach, rufous, yellow, snow white, red, pied, cinnamon, and many more.

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