Photo: Byron Chin/Flickr Creative Commons

Spotted Dove

Streptopelia chinensis

Native to southern Asia, this dove was introduced into the Los Angeles area of California around 1917. Since then it has gradually spread, occupying areas north to Santa Barbara and Bakersfield and south to San Diego. Living mostly in residential areas, it is usually rather tame, feeding on the ground on lawns and gardens. When disturbed, it flies almost straight up from the ground with noisy flapping of its wings.
Conservation status Numbers in California have declined sharply in recent years. Apparently still very common in native range in Asia.
Family Pigeons and Doves
Habitat Residential areas, parks, river woods. Found mostly in altered habitats of suburbs, especially well-watered areas with trees and lawns. Also found around farms, and in groves of trees (including eucalyptus) along streams.
Native to southern Asia, this dove was introduced into the Los Angeles area of California around 1917. Since then it has gradually spread, occupying areas north to Santa Barbara and Bakersfield and south to San Diego. Living mostly in residential areas, it is usually rather tame, feeding on the ground on lawns and gardens. When disturbed, it flies almost straight up from the ground with noisy flapping of its wings.
Photo Gallery
  • adult
  • juvenile
Feeding Behavior

Forages mostly on the ground, walking about and picking up seeds. Usually forages in pairs or small groups. Will come to bird feeders, but often picks up seeds from ground under elevated feeders.


Eggs

2. White. Incubation probably by both parents; incubation period 2 weeks or more. Young: Both parents probably feed young "pigeon milk." Development of young and age at first flight not well known.


Young

Both parents probably feed young "pigeon milk." Development of young and age at first flight not well known.

Diet

Mostly seeds. Diet in North America not studied in detail, but includes seeds of many plants.


Nesting

In territorial and courtship display, male flies up steeply with noisy clapping of wings, then glides down in wide circle with wings and tail fully spread. When perched, male displays by bowing and cooing, lowering head to show off spotted collar. Nest site is usually in large shrub or tree, on horizontal branch or fork of branch, 8-40' above ground. Nest (probably built by both sexes) is loose platform of twigs.

Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds

Migration

Permanent resident in its limited range in California, rarely straying east or north within the state.

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Migration

Permanent resident in its limited range in California, rarely straying east or north within the state.

Songs and Calls
A 3-syllable rolling coo-coo-cooooo.
Audio © Lang Elliott, Bob McGuire, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart and others.
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