Diamond Dove

Quick Facts

Length: 21 cm
Height: -
Weight: 33 grams
Colour: Distinctive red eye ring, blue-grey head and breast. Back and wings are smoky brown with find white
Habitat: Open savanna in mulga areas. Often among spinifex or grasses
Food: Seeds from herbs and grasses
Predators: -
Status: Vulnerable in VIC. Not Present in TAS. Secure in all other states and territories in Asutralia

The Diamond Dove is the smallest Australian Dove, with a distinctive red eye-ring, blue-grey head and breast. The back and wings are smoky brown with fine white spots on the wings. In flight, there is a distinctive chestnut wing panel. The female is browner. It is also known as Little Dove or Red-eyed Dove.

The Peaceful Dove is similar, though it has a blue-green eye-ring and scalloped black and white plumage on the breast and upper back. The Diamond Dove is smaller and slimmer, with a proportionally longer tail.

Diamond Doves are endemic to Australia (found only here) and fairly widely distributed in arid and semi-arid grassland savannah.

Diamond Doves gather in small parties or flocks in dry open savanna in mulga areas often among spinifex or grasses. They are also often in open riparian woodland (beside waterways).

Diamond Doves are dispersive in arid areas, seeking out areas of recent rainfall, finding places where water and food is available.

These doves feed on the ground for seeds from herbs and grasses and are never far from water. Doves need water as they have a dry seed diet and they can suck up water without lifting their heads They walk sedately when feeding but can run quickly, with tail raised, if disturbed.

Diamond Doves breed throughout their range, at any time after heavy rainfall. The nest is small flimsy platform of fine twigs or grass stems in low shrub or a scrubby tree. The eggs may be visible through the nest material. Both birds incubate and the eggs are never left unattended. Both also feed the young.

These doves are often seen along roads and tracks and are usually near water.

Author: Rosalyn Plunkett
Last Updated: Thursday 9th January, 2014
BirdLife Australia - www.birdlife.org.au


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