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25 Types of Doves: Species, Facts and Photos

Soaring into the world of ornithology, this article will guide you to explore various types of doves. Discover their distinct characteristics, diverse habitats, unique calls, and more. Stay with us for a deeper understanding of these peaceful birds. Let's start our journey into dove diversity!

Dove Classification

The Columbidae family comprises over 300 species of doves and pigeons, classified into 50 genera. They live everywhere except in Antarctica. In North America alone, around 15 types of quail doves (such as the ruddy quail dove), ground doves, and doves live. 

They thrive in various environments, including deserts, woodlands, and isolated islands. They can also thrive in bustling cities and wild grasslands. The Rock Pigeon, for instance, has adapted well to urban environments. 

However, this adaptability can also put some species at risk, such as the European Turtle Dove and the Pink-headed Fruit Dove.

Related Read: Dove Facts, Best Squirrel-proof Bird Feeders.

25 Types of Doves & Dove Species

1. Rock Dove/Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)

Rock Dove/Rock Pigeon
Photo by Anton Croos on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

The Rock Dove, also known as the Rock Pigeon, is a versatile bird native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. They have a colorful appearance with distinct black bars on their wing coverts. 

Their homing instinct is their most remarkable feature, allowing them to navigate back home from hundreds of miles away at 50 miles per hour. 

Rock pigeons can also travel up to 700 miles daily and have a storied history as long-distance messengers, aerial acrobats, and survivors.

2. Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)

Common Wood Pigeon
Photo by Rohitjahnavi on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Common Wood Pigeon is a dove species in Europe, North Africa, and southwestern Asia. It has a soft grey body, pinkish breast, and white neck patch. Likewise, it has adapted to various habitats, feeding on seeds, crops, fruits, and invertebrates.

Related read: Pigeon Facts.

3. Stock Dove (Columba oenas)

Stock Dove
Photo by Chris Cant on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Stock Dove measures 12.6-13.4 inches. It has a blue-grey coat with a touch of pink on its chest and a vibrant green patch on its neck. 

This type of dove prefers living in woodlands, farmlands, parks, and gardens; it nests in tree hollows, old woodpecker holes, or buildings. 

It has a diet of seeds and grains and occasionally invertebrates. Its soft cooing sounds are faster and less repetitive than its relatives. 

The breeding season runs from April to July, and the female lays two eggs. Both parents are responsible for looking after them for around 17-19 days. While hunting threatens the Stock Dove in some areas, its population remains stable.

4. White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)

White-winged Dove
Photo by Becky Matsubara on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The White-winged Dove has a unique appearance with a white stripe on its wings that becomes prominent during flight. Its plumage is gray-brown with hints of pink on the chest, and it has a blue ring around each eye. 

The bird primarily lives in desert scrublands and ranges from the southwestern United States to parts of South America. Its diet includes seeds, grains, and fruits; it also feeds on the nectar of the saguaro cactus, which helps pollinate them.

The White-winged Dove's cooing sound, often mistaken for an owl's call, adds to the natural sounds of the region.

5. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Mourning Dove
Photo by Dawn Beattie on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

Mourning Doves have soft, grayish-brown plumage, pinkish blush on their chest, and pointed tails bordered with white edges. It feeds primarily on seeds and supplements its diet with snails and insects. 

These types of doves can thrive in various habitats, including open countryside, urban areas, roadsides, and woodlands. Their cooing sound often resounds in the early morning or late evening, which inspired its name. 

6. Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

Eurasian Collared Dove
Photo by J.M.Garg on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

The Eurasian Collared Dove is a bird with a black crescent at the back of its neck that is native to warm, temperate, and subtropical regions of Asia. It has adapted to various environments, and its diet mainly consists of seeds and grains. 

Moreover, Eurasian Collared Doves are monogamous, laying two eggs in a cozy nest where both parents share the responsibility of incubation. 

This type of dove plays an essential role in seed dispersal and has a unique three-part coo that sounds throughout the day and night.

7. African Collared Dove (Streptopelia roseogrisea)

African Collared Dove
Photo by Ron Knight on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The African Collared Dove is a medium-sized bird commonly found in the arid savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa. It has also made a home for itself in the United States, particularly in California. 

Known for its pale gray body with a pinkish blush on the chest, it has a varied diet and prefers to stay in one place all year round. 

8. Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis)

Spotted Dove
Photo by iNaturalist/zinogre on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Spotted Dove is a medium-sized bird in southern Asia. A coat of light grayish-brown feathers decorates this bird, with a hint of pink and a black collar patch on its neck dotted with white spots. 

These doves eat seeds, fruits, and grains but occasionally eat insects and caterpillars for a protein boost. 

They are skilled at navigating through the trees, and they build their nests in trees or shrubs, where they usually tuck away two white eggs. Both parents share the duty of incubating these eggs. Once hatched, the fledglings stay around the nest for about 12 to 18 days before launching into the sky to explore the world.

9. Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis)

Laughing Dove
Photo by Charles J. Sharp on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

The Laughing Dove is a bird inhabiting Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. It has a distinctive call that sounds like chuckling.

Its body is compact and pinkish-brown in color, with a bluish-grey underwing. Likewise, it has a unique 'necklace' of delicate black lines around its lower throat. Its diet includes seeds, grains, small fruits, and occasional insects.

10. Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata)

Diamond Dove
Photo by Laurie Boyle on Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Diamond Dove is a small pigeon native to Australia's arid and semi-arid regions. It has a silvery-grey body, white belly, and chest. 

They are monogamous birds and form pairs or small groups in the wild. Despite their small size, Diamond Doves are resilient creatures that survive in harsh climates. ‘They can live up to 10-15 years in captivity.

11. Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata)

Zebra Dove
Photo by JJ Harrison on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Zebra Dove originated from Southeast Asia and has successfully spread to various locations worldwide. It is adaptable to various environments, including open habitats like farmland gardens and urban areas. 

It is a relatively small bird with black and white stripes on its upper body and a pale grey belly. The bird's call is one of the most pleasant among dove species. Moreover, it primarily feeds on small seeds and grains, as well as small insects and invertebrates. 

The Zebra Dove's monogamous behavior is unique among birds; pairs of Zebra Doves often preen each other and share meals.

12. Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)

Emerald Dove
Photo by SandyCole on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

The Emerald Dove is a small and striking member of the dove family. Its emerald-hued wings contrast sharply with its dark grey body. It lives in various habitats but prefers areas with thick vegetation and proximity to water bodies. 

Moreover, it forages alone or with a partner for fallen fruits and seeds on the forest floor. Its shy nature and the protection offered by the dense vegetation make it a master of evasion.

13. Ring-necked Dove (Streptopelia capicola)

Ring-necked Dove
Photo by Francesco Veronesi on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Cape Turtle Dove, also known as the Ring-necked Dove or Ringneck Dove, is a medium-sized bird with soft grey-pink feathers, a black ring around its neck, and black-spotted wings. 

It can adapt to various environments, including savannas, bushvelds, farms, and urban gardens, and feeds on seeds, grains, fruits, berries, and insects. Despite facing challenges from predators and urbanization, the bird continues to thrive.

14. Inca Dove (Columbina inca)

Inca Dove
Photo by DickDaniels on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

The Inca Doves inhabit Mexico, Central America, and the southwestern United States. They have greyish-brown bodies with white-edged tails and scaled patterns on their necks, chests, and backs. Despite their small size and social nature, they fiercely defend their homes. 

15. Common Ground Dove (Columbina passerina)

Common Ground Dove
Photo by DickDaniels on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

The Common Ground Dove is a small bird in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. It is adaptable and resilient, often found in open landscapes like grasslands, farmlands, and scrublands. 

The bird's feathers blend pink and gray, allowing it to blend in with the sandy soil. Male doves have a pink chest and a bluish crown, while females have a more subdued color palette. 

The Common Ground Doves prefer to scavenge for seeds, grains, and small insects on the ground, and their gentle cooing often rings out.

16. Key West Quail-Dove (Geotrygon chrysia)

Key West Quail-Dove
Photo by Charles J. Sharp on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (Cropped from original).

The Key West Quail-Dove lives in tropical and subtropical forests. It has a golden-brown head and neck, a pink body, blue and green wings, and bare red skin around its eyes. 

The bird's low, mournful cooing is the most common sign of its presence. It feeds mainly on seeds and fruits fallen to the forest floor, supplemented occasionally by small insects and other tiny creatures. 

The bird typically builds its nest on low bushes or the forest floor and lays one to two eggs at a time. Likewise, both males and females share incubation and chick care duties equally. 

However, sighting the Key West Quail-Dove in Key West, its original location, is becoming increasingly rare. Its population and habitat have changed significantly over the years.

17. White-tipped Dove (Leptotila verreauxi)

White-tipped Dove
Photo by Francesco Veronesi on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The White-tipped Dove can be found in tropical and subtropical forests, mangroves, and savannas. This dove is about the size of a pigeon and has a grey-brown coat with a hint of pink on its chest. Its tail is notable for its striking white tip, and a subtle touch of blue encircles the bird's eye. 

This type of dove feeds on seeds, grains, and small invertebrates found on the ground, which helps in seed dispersal and maintaining the forest floor's diversity and health. 

Breeding season varies depending on location, and the bird tends to one or two eggs nested in trees or shrubs. The White-tipped Dove is not a migratory bird but may travel on short trips to find food or escape harsh weather. 

18. Blue Ground Dove (Claravis pretiosa)

Blue Ground Dove
Photo by ERIK DING on Pexels.

The Blue Ground Dove is a bird species in Central and South America. Males have a blue coat, while females have a grey-brown dress. They have a white line outlining their wings, which is a marvel. 

This type of dove can be found in lowland forests, secondary forests, and plantations. They also inhabit human spaces such as city parks and gardens. They are monogamous and forage in pairs.

19. Ruddy Ground Dove (Columbina talpacoti)

Ruddy Ground Dove
Photo by Félix Uribe on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Ruddy Ground Dove is a bird species found in the Americas, from Mexico to Peru, Brazil, and the Caribbean, that can thrive in different habitats. 

Males have a reddish-brown coat, while females have a greyish-brown plumage. They feed on seeds, grains, and small invertebrates and have a soft and rhythmic cooing. 

20. Red-billed Pigeon (Patagioenas flavirostris)

Red-billed Pigeon
Photo by Michael Woodruff on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The Red-billed Pigeon is a bird in the Americas. It has a red beak and gray feathers. The bird is larger than the average pigeon, reaching lengths of up to 13 inches and boasting a wingspan of up to 18 inches. 

The bird prefers living in trees and can be found in forest fringes, riversides, and even areas with human settlements. The Red-billed Pigeon feeds on fruits, seeds, insects, and small invertebrates and sometimes feeds in flocks.

21. Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata)

Band-tailed Pigeon
Photo by Mike's Birds on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

Band-tailed Pigeons are the largest native pigeon species in North America. They live in mixed coniferous forests, oak woodlands, and riverside habitats. 

Their grey-blue plumage, white band on their tail, and white crescent on the nape of their neck give them a unique appearance. These birds make a distinctive three-part cooing call.

Moreover, it's an important species for the health and biodiversity of its home forests as it spreads seeds around while feeding. However, it is often considered a pest in some areas when it consumes crops.

22. White-crowned Pigeon (Patagioenas leucocephala)

White-crowned Pigeon
Photo by Lip Kee on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The White-crowned Pigeon is a bird species found mainly in the Caribbean and southern Florida. It has a white crown and slate-gray body. It typically inhabits coastal mangroves and keys. 

This dove also feeds primarily on red mangrove fruits, contributing to the growth and survival of mangrove forests. While nesting, it prefers dense thickets or mangroves that offer protection against predators. 

23. Ringed Turtle Dove (Streptopelia risoria)

The Ringed Turtle Dove, also known as the Barbary Dove, is a small bird that originates from North Africa. It has a calm demeanor, gentle cooing, and a distinctive 'ring' or half-collar at the nape of its neck. 

These doves measure approximately 11 to 13 inches long and have a broad tail with striking white tips. It commonly inhabits urban and suburban landscapes. The Ringed Turtle Dove prefers trees or buildings for nesting. 

24. European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)

European Turtle Dove
Photo by Ron Knight on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).

The European Turtle Dove has light grey feathers, a pink blush on its chest, a black and white striped patch on the side of its neck, and a tail with white edging and a black base. 

It lives in woodlands, farmlands, and shrublands across Europe, Central Asia, and North Africa. During winter, it migrates to the Sahel region in Africa. 

The European Turtle Dove feeds on plant seeds and occasionally invertebrates. Unlike other doves, these turtle doves don’t need to tilt their heads back to drink water.

25. Pink-headed Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus porphyreus)

Pink-headed Fruit Dove
Photo by Ltshears on Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 (Cropped from original).

In the greenery of Indonesia's Java and Sumatra islands resides a species of bird called the Pink-headed Fruit Dove. The bird has a pink head, neck, and underparts, contrasting with its emerald wings and back. Males have more intense, vivid pink colors than the females. 

As arboreal animals, these doves rarely come to the forest floor. They feed on small fruits and berries available in their forest habitat. 

Their nests comprise twigs and leaves; they make nests high in the trees to keep their eggs away from predators. 

By Mike Gomez, BA.

Mike is a degree-qualified researcher and writer passionate about increasing global awareness about climate change and encouraging people to act collectively in resolving these issues.

Fact Checked By:
Isabela Sedano, BEng.

Photo by J Labrador on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Cropped from original).
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