Pigeons, Doves

Rock Pigeon

A mid-sized, blue-grey pigeon with darker head and neck and black wing bars, but it interbreeds with domestic pigeons so several colour varieties possible. Basically blue-grey with green-purple sheen across neck. Wings darker and tail black sub-terminal band. Some races have white lower back. Always has two long black bars across wing coverts. Gregarious, mixing with other doves. Feeds in flocks on spilt grain and sprouting cereals. Also in remote rocky places with cliffs and ruins. Nests colonially in cavities and on ledges in buildings and cliffs.

Yellow-footed Green Pigeon

Male ashy olive-green above; olive-yellow collar, band in dark slaty tail; lilac-red shoulder-patch (mostly absent in female); yellow legs and underbody. Female slightly duller than male. The nominate (northern) race has grey lower breast and belly. Small flocks; mostly arboreal, rarely coming to salt-licks or cropland; remains well hidden in foliage but moves briskly; has favourite feeding trees.

Red Collared Dove

Male: deep ashy-grey head; black hind-neck collar; rich wine-red back; slaty grey-brown lower back, rump and uppertail; whitish tips to all but central tail feathers. Female: much like Eurasian Collared Dove, but smaller size and more brownish colouration distinctive. Solitary, in pairs or small parties; associates with other doves but is less common; feeds on ground, gleaning on harvested croplands; perches and suns on leafless branches and overhead wires.

Eurasian Collared Dove

Sexes alike. Greyish-brown plumage; lilac wash about head and neck; black half-collar on hind-neck diagnostic; broad whitish tips to brown tail feathers,
seen as a terminal band when fanned during landing; dull lilac breast and ashygrey underbody. Small parties when not breeding; often associates with other doves; large gatherings glean in cultivated country; strong flier, chases intruders in territory.

Spotted Dove

Sexes alike. Grey and pinkbrown above, spotted white; white-spotted black hind-neck collar (chessboard) diagnostic; dark tail with broad white tips to outer feathers seen in flight; vinous-brown breast, merging into white on belly. Young birds are barred above and lack chessboard. Pairs or small parties on ground; frequently settles on paths and roads, flying further on intrusion; quite tame and confiding in many areas; drinks often; at harvest times, seen along with other doves in immense gatherings.

Laughing Dove

Sexes alike. Pinkish grey-brown plumage with black-andwhite chessboard on sides of foreneck; white tips to outer-tail feathers and broad grey wing-patches best seen in flight; small size distinctive. Pairs or small flocks; associates freely with other doves in huge gatherings at harvest time; feeds mostly on ground, walking about silently.