Spotted Dove

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Habitat: Urban


The Spotted Dove is common around human habitation and can easily be seen in parks, gardens and agricultural areas.


The Spotted Dove was first introduced to Melbourne in the 1860s and there have been several subsequent releases to other Australian cities. It readily consumes bird seed and bread, as well as feeding on the seeds of weeds. The species has not spread far from urban areas, probably because of a lack of suitable food. Some birds stay in the same area all year round, while others move around local areas. The most common call is a musical “cocoo” or “crooor”.


Spotted Doves feed on grains, seeds and scraps. The birds are seen alone or in small flocks, feeding mostly on the ground. Some seeds may be taken in trees and bushes, and birds often enter animal houses, such as chicken coops, to feed on the commercial food.


Spotted Doves breed at any time of the year, but most activity is from September to December. The male performs a display flight, which consists of a steep rising flight with loud wing-clapping. Once the bird reaches a height of about 30 or 40 m above the ground, he then spreads his tail and wings and glides down to a perch. Males also court by walking in front of the female with the black and white neck patch fluffed up while bowing the head up and down. The nest is a loose platform of sticks, which may be placed in a variety of locations. Both sexes share the incubation of the eggs and the rearing of the chicks.