Fun Bar-shouldered Dove Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Bar-shouldered Dove Facts For Kids

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Birds flying in the sky appear fascinating. The wings that make them fly are everyone's dream to own. Read about one of such species – a bar-shouldered dove – that conquer the sky and have no limits.

The bar-shouldered doves are usually found dominating the coasts located in northwestern, northern, and eastern Australia. They are also seen in urban areas. More precisely, they range throughout wooded open lands, located near water, of western Australia in New South Wales to the South Pacific region comprising southern New Guinea and northern Australia in the Cape York Peninsula. One of their subspecies is reported to be restricted to Onslow, western Australia in the Pilbara region.

The bar-shouldered doves are blue-gray medium-sized birds from the family of pigeons and doves. They are also known as mangrove doves, scrub doves, or kookawook. They are closely related to diamond dove and zebra dove.

If the uniqueness of the bar-shouldered dove makes you interested to read more about similar species, you can read about the calliope hummingbird and the savannah sparrow.

Fun Bar-shouldered Dove Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Short grass, herbs, seeds, and sedges

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2 eggs

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

10-12 in (26-30 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown, gray and red

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Habitat Loss (deforestation)

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?



Australia And New Guinea









Bar-Shouldered Dove Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bar-shouldered dove?

A bar-shouldered dove, Geopelia humeralis, is a species of pigeons and doves. It is one of the common street birds often found in Australia.

What class of animal does a bar-shouldered dove belong to?

A bar-shouldered dove, Geopelia humeralis, belongs to the class Aves, family Columbidae, and genus Geopelia. It is closely related to the diamond dove and zebra dove.

How many bar-shouldered doves are there in the world?

While the population of the bar-shouldered doves remains poorly researched, the species is listed as Least Concern under the IUCN List. The calls of the species are quite common near water, Australian coasts, mangroves, and throughout the urban areas.

Where does a bar-shouldered dove live?

The populations of bar-shouldered dove range throughout the dense mangrove trees and urban areas of northern and eastern Australia to northwestern and western Australia. It is recorded in New South Wales, southern New Guinea, and Onslow in the Pilbara region.

What is a bar-shouldered dove's habitat?

The bar-shouldered dove habitat is natively close to the ground near cover. Shrubs and dense tree cover are often found as an escape for the dove from predators or aggressors. It is also found in mangroves and urban areas.

Who do bar-shouldered doves live with?

The bar-shouldered doves are recorded to live either in pairs or small groups. The birds are often found in small flocks rather than huge flocks.

How long does a bar-shouldered dove live?

The search regarding the average lifespan of a bar-shouldered dove is yet to be carried out. While there are no documentaries stating the range of the lifespan of bar-shouldered doves, doves are expected to live up to five years on average.

How do they reproduce?

While the breeding season of the bar-shouldered dove pair in the north continues year-round, the breeding season for the birds in the south ranges from August to November. The eggs are laid in the nest by the female. A nest is build hidden in the shrubs and trees near water to ensure protection. The pair incubates the eggs and the eggs hatch into young ones who feed on crop milk. Both the parents feed and nurture the young ones which is a common characteristic documented in all pigeons and doves.

What is their conservation status?

The Australian bar-shouldered doves are listed as Least Concern under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, hence, are not Endangered. They are also protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Bar-Shouldered Dove Fun Facts

What do bar-shouldered doves look like?

A bar-shouldered dove, Geopelia humeralis, is a medium-sized dove with a long tail. It has a blue-gray chest, neck, and upper breast, brown wings, copper-colored feathers behind its neck. The back of the neck is similar to the peaceful dove. The eye-ring is reported to be gray in color, but during the breeding season, the coloration of the eye-ring changes to red-brown. While the neck and upper breast are gray in color, the lower breast has a distinctive pinkish bar. The bird also has dark barring and a distinctive patch on the hindneck.  The lower body is pale, while the bill has a pale grayish shade. The young birds lack the patch and the barring and are dull. The subspecies found in northern Australia are recorded to have a lighter color.

The Bar-Shouldered Dove

How cute are they?

The medium-sized blue-gray dove is often found attractive and cute with distinctive bars and patches throughout the body. The Australian species with feathers of gray, brown, and blue color is noticed to have a distinctive shine that is sure to attract you.

How do they communicate?

The bar-shouldered doves communicate via various vocalizations. The voice of the Australian species is distinctive and melodious. The calls sound like 'cook-a-wook' or 'coolicoo'. The 'cook-a-wook' and 'coolicoo' are quite common in the Australian coasts and urban areas.

How big is a bar-shouldered dove?

The bar-shouldered dove (Geopelia humeralis) is 10-12 in (26-30 cm) long. It is approximately the size of a domestic barbary dove. It is four times smaller than the wandering albatross and three times larger than the hummingbird.

How fast can a bar-shouldered dove fly?

While the peregrine falcon is the fastest bird, the flying speed of the bar-shouldered doves remains undeciphered.

How much does a bar-shouldered dove weigh?

The weight of the bar-shouldered doves is not yet computed, but it is speculated to be quite negligible when compared to an ostrich.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names assigned to the species of birds. They can be called bar-shouldered dove male or bar-shouldered dove female, respectively.

What would you call a baby bar-shouldered dove?

A bar-shouldered dove baby can be called a nestling, fledgling, or hatchling.

What do they eat?

The diet of the birds found in Australia comprises seeds, short grass, and herbs found near the ground. The birds reside in thick vegetation as it prevents the activity of search of food to cope with their feeding habits. The flock of birds eat seeds and feed on the ground.

Are they poisonous?

No, the species of birds found in Australia from the family of pigeons and doves do not possess poison.

Would they make a good pet?

No as they are protected under the 1974 National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Did you know...

While the bar-shouldered doves found in the north have a year-round breeding season, the doves located in the south have breeding seasons ranging from August to November.

The 'cook-a-wook' or 'coolicoo' of the doves are quite common throughout Australia.

The nest of the birds is built around the shrubs and trees to prevent danger.

The feeding habits of doves vary from eating near the ground and consuming basically seeds, shrubs, herbs, and sedges.

This bird is not a migratory bird. The bird neither reflects to move around the world nor fly away for breeding or feeding.

Differences between a bar-shouldered dove and a regular dove

While a bar-shouldered dove is closely related to a diamond dove, the bird does not have parallel throat feathers around its nape, unlike a regular dove. Also, the pinkish bar over its lower breast is another distinctive characteristic that makes a bird different from other species of doves.

How do you identify a bar-shouldered dove?

A bar-shouldered dove can be identified with dark barring and a distinctive patch on its body, which is also the reason for its name.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our hummingbird facts and cockatoo facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bar shouldered dove coloring pages.

Written By
Gurpuneet Kaur

Gurpuneet is currently pursuing a degree in economics and has lots of experience working with young people. She has worked as a tutor and has volunteered for Action India, teaching and providing medical assistance to the underprivileged. She has also worked for various education agencies, creating student study guides. Along with this, Gurpuneet has written and managed content for multiple sites and companies and was a campus ambassador at her university, where she studied economics. She loves to write about tourist places in India and enjoys conjuring up fun facts for Kidadl.

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