At a Glance

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.
Pigeon-like Birds, Pigeons and Doves
Low Concern
Urban and Suburban Habitats
Direct Flight

Range & Identification

Migration & Range Maps

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


13" (33 cm). Size of Mourning Dove but bulkier, tail more rounded, lacks black spots on wings. Best mark is black collar with white spots (less obvious on young birds).
About the size of a Crow, About the size of a Robin
Black, Brown, Gray, Pink, Purple, White
Wing Shape
Broad, Pointed
Tail Shape
Long, Rounded, Square-tipped, Wedge-shaped

Songs and Calls

A 3-syllable rolling coo-coo-cooooo.
Call Pattern
Falling, Flat
Call Type
Hoot, Rattle


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.



2. White. Incubation probably by both parents; incubation period 2 weeks or more.


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

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.


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


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.

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status

Numbers in California have declined sharply in recent years. Apparently still very common in native range in Asia.

Climate Map

Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect the range of the Spotted Dove. Learn even more in our Audubon’s Survival By Degrees project.

Climate Threats Facing the Spotted Dove

Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.