Fun Spotted Dove Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Spotted Dove Facts For Kids

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The spotted dove (Spilopelia chinensis) bird is a long-tailed pigeon native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. These common resident breeding birds have been introduced to several parts of the world and the establishment of their feral population has taken place. These are one of the largest doves seen in North America. They are found in a wide range of places like North America, South Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK.

These birds were previously thought to be of the genus Streptopelia along with other turtle-doves that are similar species. Nowadays, however, the argument has been refuted in the scientific community. Now they are supposed to be of the genus Spilopelia although the turtle dove is a similar species. The dove is brown in color with a black collar patch on the sides and back of the neck. These birds have white wings and tail tips with their wing coverts having light buff spots. They are brownish with pale pink or gray heads. The male and female species are similar in looks. They eat seeds, fruits, and insects. Their breeding season starts in March.

The spotted dove bird in its native range of Asia is found in a wide range of places like forests, gardens, and human habitats. These birds are called by a lot of names like a lace-necked dove, spotted turtle dove, pearl-necked dove, and mountain dove. Their status is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. Major threats to their population are habitat destruction and agricultural herbicides. Their conservation status might change in the future if these dangers persist.

You may also check out the fact files on mourning dove and fruit dove from Kidadl.

Fun Spotted Dove Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Seeds, fruits, berries, grains, insects, buds, and scraps

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2 per brood

How much do they weigh?

5.29-5.64 oz (150-160 g)

How long are they?

11-12 in (28-30.5 cm)

How tall are they?

4 in (10 cm)

What do they look like?

Brown, black, white, and gray

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Predators, Deforestation, And Climate Change

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Open Woods, Urban Areas Like Parks, Gardens, And Agricultural Areas, Tropical And Subtropical Zones


North America, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast And Southern Asia, And The UK









Spotted Dove Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a spotted dove?

A spotted dove (Spilopelia chinensis) is a type of bird. This bird's scientific name used to be Streptopelia chinensis. They are found in a wide range of places like North America, Australia, and the UK.

Some other interesting doves include the Grenada dove, the Namaqua dove, and the stock dove.

What class of animal does a spotted dove belong to?

The spotted dove (Spilopelia chinensis) belongs to class Aves or birds. The spotted dove used to have a scientific name of Streptopelia chinensis.

How many spotted doves are there in the world?

The population of spotted doves in the world is unknown.

Where does a spotted dove live?

The spotted dove is found mainly in parts of Southeast and southern Asia such as China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. They have a broad range around the world and are found in many temperate and tropical regions. North American countries like Hawaii and California, as well as the UK, New Zealand, and Australia also have a large non-native population of spotted doves. Spotted doves are natives of Eastern Asia.

In Australia, they were introduced in the 1860s to Melbourne and are now found in gardens, parks, streets, and tropical scrubs in southern and eastern Australia. These doves were first introduced in Los Angeles, California in 1917. From Los Angeles, they spread to many North American states. Now, the number of North American spotted doves is stable.

They have a subspecies in Sri Lanka. Their subspecies in Sri Lanka are called ceylonensis. This Sri Lankan dove species has buff spots on the back.

What is a spotted dove's habitat?

The spotted dove habitat is often found near human settlements. They are found in villages, suburban areas, gardens, open woodlands, agricultural areas, farmlands and mountains. These birds are not found in dense forests. In India, these birds are found in tropical regions. Laughing dove birds are found in drier areas. The spotted dove in Asia, its native range, is found across various habitats including farmland, scrubs, and woodlands.

Who do spotted doves live with?

Spotted doves live in pairs or small flocks. They can also sometimes be found alone.

How long does a spotted dove live?

The spotted dove lives for about seven and a half years.

How do they reproduce?

This species mates for life, however it won't die if their mate dies. They tend to move on in and find a new mate in such cases. Preening behavior by the partner is seen as a sign of courtship between spotted doves. The male spotted dove takes a steep rising display flight with loud wing flapping and returns to a perch. Cooing and bowing occur between the mates before copulation. 

The female spotted dove lays two eggs in a very fragile nest made of twigs. The eggs are incubated by both parent doves for 13 days before hatching. Baby spotted doves take 14 days to fledge.

Pparent doves, like other species of family Columbidae, feed milk produced in their bodies to the young ones. Doves and pigeons are known to be able to produce milk for their offspring.

What is their conservation status?

The spotted dove is listed in the category Least Concern by the IUCN. They are vulnerable to agricultural herbicides on the ground and also habitat loss. They are also placed in captivity in some places for the pet trade.

Spotted Dove Fun Facts

What do spotted doves look like?

A spotted dove's feathers are brown tinted with pink that gives a rosy buff look to them. This bird has a black beak and a long slender body. They have a black and white collar. On its neck is a black and white spotted half collar and alternate black and white feathers on the wings and tail. Their belly and down feathers are gray and white. Their tail tips are white. The spotted collar develops in adult spotted doves and is absent in baby doves, which are duller in color. Both sexes are similar in appearance and it can be tricky to distinguish between them. Spotted doves have a light brown upper part with the lower parts having mostly dark shades from feathers on the back and wings to the center.

Their tail is buff brown and they have a white-spotted black collar patch on the sides below their head and back of the neck. Their unique feature is a black collar on the hind neck base underneath their head having many white spots. The white spots do not develop in the young ones.

The plumage and feather colors of spotted doves can change across populations and country ranges

How cute are they?

Spotted doves are very cute birds with their plumage in shades of brown tinged with pink. Their spotted black and white neck patch and collar look beautiful and endearing.

How do they communicate?

Both male and female spotted doves communicate with a rolling, three syllable 'coo'. The spotted dove sounds like 'coo-coo-coooo'. Their wings make a whistle-like sound when flying, which is a common feature across the Columbidae family. When defending territory, male spotted doves use their loud wing flapping to fight and emit aggressive ‘kir-ring’ sounds.

How big is a spotted dove?

The spotted dove’s length ranges between 11-12.5 in (28-30.5 cm).

How fast can a spotted dove fly?

We do not know how fast a spotted dove flies. In general, doves can fly 40-50 mph (64-80 kph).

How much does a spotted dove weigh?

A spotted dove bird weighs between 5.29-5.64 oz (150-160 g).

What are male and female names of the species?

Male spotted doves are called cock doves while female spotted doves are called hen doves.

What would you call a baby spotted dove?

Baby spotted doves are called squabs or squeakers.

What do they eat?

The spotted dove diet consists of seeds of grasses, cereal, livestock feed, berries, fallen fruits, and human food scraps. These birds are seen in small flocks or alone feeding mostly from the ground. This species drinks by sucking and these birds do not need to tilt their heads back to swallow.

Are they dangerous?

No, spotted doves are harmless.

Would they make a good pet?

Spotted doves are mostly wild and can get feral if petted or caged in aviaries. Therefore not suitable as pets.

Did you know...

The notorious habit of flying suddenly into the air if disturbed makes spotted doves a source of danger to airplanes. They often collide with the planes, causing accidents and die. 

Spotted doves are also called pearl-necked doves or lace-necked doves due to the spotted collars around their neck patches.

How long do spotted dove eggs take to hatch?

Nests are made in low vegetation areas, and often on the ground with twigs. The spotted dove's incubation period is 13 days after which the hatchlings are born. The hatchlings fledge within 14-15 days.

Are spotted doves native to Australia? 

Spotted doves are not natives of Australia. They are nowadays a part of many non-native places like Mauritius, Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand, and North America.

They were introduced in Australia in the 1860s from the Northern Hemisphere and their population has spread since then.

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 eastern rosella facts and Dalmatian pelican facts pages.

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

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