Diamond Dove

   Geopelia cuneata

Geopelia cuneata

Diamond Doves are small pigeons with a length of 19-21 cm. Regardless of the gender, they have white spots and black edges on their wings, orange eyes and red eye-rings. The genders look similar except the female’s eye-ring is less vivid and has more of a brown colour to the plumage. The male’s head, neck, and breast are light blue-grey. The bill is a dark grey colour, the abdomen is a creamy colour while the back and tail is a brown-grey colour. Legs and feet are pink. Juveniles have a light grey bill; the iris and eye-ring is fawn in colour; the breast, feet and legs are grey; and they do not possess any white spots on their wings. These birds are found in all states of Australia except Tasmania, mostly in dry arid areas.

Breeding

The doves tend to breed after rain, but mostly in spring in Southern Australia. Fragile nests are usually built from interwoven grasses and/or twigs. Two white eggs are usually laid and incubated for 13-14 days. Chicks are usually fully feathered and flying by two weeks.

Behaviour

The Diamond dove can often be seen on the ground with a toddling run. Their flight is strong and direct and can be undulating. The wings can make a whistling “frrr” noise when flying. They are known to have a variety of calls. The calls sound mournful, slow and have a falsetto quality to them. Two calls consist of two long coos followed by a pause and then a long, short and long coo. Sometimes they call two long coos. The alarm coo consists of a few short but loud coos.

Diet

Diamond doves tend to be seen in pairs or small groups feeding off the ground. They feed off seed mostly from grasses and will also eat ants.

Status

Common.

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