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Pigeons and Doves
Scientific classification
Many: see text.
The doves are the 308 species of near passerine birds in the order Columbiformes. The terms dove and pigeon are used interchangeably, although smaller species are more likely to be called doves.

The species commonly referred to just as the "pigeon" is the feral Rock Dove.

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.

The poorly constructed nests are made of sticks, and the two white eggs are incubated by both sexes.

Doves feed on seeds, fruit and other soft plantstuffs. Unlike most other birds, (but see flamingo), the doves and pigeons produce “milk”, which is secreted by a sloughing of fluid-filled cells from the lining of the crop. Both sexes produce this highly nutritious substance to feed to the young.

This family occurs worldwide, but the greatest variety is in the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones.

Species are:

Genus Columba Typical doves

  • Rock Dove or feral pigeon, Columba livia
  • Stock Dove Columba oenas
  • Trocaz Pigeon[?] Columba trocaz
  • Bolle’s Pigeon[?] Columba bollii
  • Laurel Pigeon[?] Columba junoniae
  • White-crowned Pigeon Columba leucocephala
  • Red-billed Pigeon Columba flavirostris
  • Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata
  • Hill Pigeon, Columba rupestris
  • Snow Pigeon, Columba leuconota
  • Speckled Pigeon, Columba guinea
  • White-collared Pigeon, Columba albitorques
  • Pale-backed Pigeon, Columba eversmanni
  • Somali Pigeon, Columba oliviae
  • Common Woodpigeon, Columba palumbus
  • Afer Pigeon, Columba unicincta
  • African Olive-pigeon, Columba arquatrix
  • Cameroon Olive-pigeon, Columba sjostedti
  • Sao Tome Olive-pigeon, Columba thomensis
  • Comoro Olive-pigeon, Columba polleni
  • Speckled Woodpigeon, Columba hodgsonii
  • White-naped Pigeon, Columba albinucha
  • Ashy Woodpigeon, Columba pulchricollis
  • Nilgiri Woodpigeon, Columba elphinstonii
  • Sri Lanka Woodpigeon, Columba torringtoni
  • Pale-capped Pigeon, Columba punicea
  • Silvery Pigeon, Columba argentina
  • Andaman Woodpigeon, Columba palumboides
  • Japanese Woodpigeon, Columba janthina
  • Metallic Pigeon or White-throated Pigeon, Columba vitiensis
  • White-headed Pigeon, Columba leucomela
  • Yellow-legged Pigeon, Columba pallidiceps
  • White-crowned Pigeon, Columba leucocephala
  • Scaly-naped Pigeon, Columba squamosa
  • Scaled Pigeon, Columba speciosa
  • Picazuro Pigeon, Columba picazuro
  • Bare-eyed Pigeon, Columba corensis
  • Spot-winged Pigeon, Columba maculosa
  • Band-tailed Pigeon, Columba fasciata
  • Chilean Pigeon, Columba araucana
  • Ring-tailed Pigeon, Columba caribaea
  • Pale-vented Pigeon, Columba cayennensis
  • Red-billed Pigeon, Columba flavirostris
  • Peruvian Pigeon, Columba oenops
  • Plain Pigeon, Columba inornata
  • Plumbeous Pigeon, Columba plumbea
  • Ruddy Pigeon, Columba subvinacea
  • Short-billed Pigeon, Columba nigrirostris
  • Dusky Pigeon, Columba goodsoni
  • Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Columba delegorguei
  • Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Columba iriditorques
  • Sao Tome Bronze-naped Pigeon, Columba malherbii
  • African Lemon-dove, Columba larvata
  • Sao Tome Lemon-dove, Columba simplex

Genus Streptopelia

  • Laughing Dove[?] Streptopelia senegalensis
  • Eurasian Collared Dove[?] Streptopelia decaocto
  • Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis
  • Turtle Dove Streptopelia risoria
  • Oriental Turtle Dove[?] Streptopelia orientalis
  • Dusky Turtle-Dove, Streptopelia lugens
  • Adamawa Turtle-Dove, Streptopelia hypopyrrha
  • Island Collared-Dove, Streptopelia bitorquata
  • African Collared-Dove, Streptopelia roseogrisea
  • White-winged Collared-Dove, Streptopelia reichenowi
  • African Mourning Dove, Streptopelia decipiens
  • Red-eyed Dove, Streptopelia semitorquata
  • Ring-necked Dove, Streptopelia capicola
  • Vinaceous Dove, Streptopelia vinacea
  • Red Turtle-Dove, Streptopelia tranquebarica
  • Madagascar Turtle-Dove, Streptopelia picturata

Genus Zenaida

  • Socorro Dove, Zenaida graysoni
  • Eared Dove, Zenaida auriculata
  • Zenaida Dove, Zenaida aurita
  • Galapagos Dove, Zenaida galapagoensis
  • White-winged Dove, Zenaida asiatica
  • Pacific Dove, Zenaida meloda
  • American Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura

Genus Columbina Ground Doves

  • Common Ground-Dove, Columbina passerina
  • Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Columbina minuta
  • Ecuadorian Ground-Dove, Columbina buckleyi
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove, Columbina talpacoti
  • Picui Dove, Columbina picui
  • Croaking Ground-Dove, Columbina cruziana
  • Blue-eyed Ground-Dove, Columbina cyanopis

Genus Leptotila

  • White-tipped Dove, Leptotila verreauxi
  • White-faced Dove, Leptotila megalura
  • Grey-fronted Dove, Leptotila rufaxilla
  • Grey-headed Dove, Leptotila plumbeiceps
  • Pallid Dove, Leptotila pallida
  • Brown-backed Dove, Leptotila battyi
  • Grenada Dove, Leptotila wellsi
  • Caribbean Dove, Leptotila jamaicensis
  • Grey-chested Dove, Leptotila cassini
  • Ochre-bellied Dove, Leptotila ochraceiventris
  • Tolima Dove, Leptotila conoveri

Genus Gallicolumba

  • Luzon Bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba luzonica
  • Mindanao Bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba criniger
  • Mindoro Bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba platenae
  • Negros Bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba keayi
  • Sulu Bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba menagei
  • Cinnamon Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba rufigula
  • Sulawesi Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba tristigmata
  • White-bibbed Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba jobiensis
  • Caroline Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba kubaryi
  • Polynesian Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba erythroptera
  • White-throated Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba xanthonura
  • Friendly Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba stairi
  • Santa Cruz Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba sanctaecrucis
  • Thick-billed Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba salamonis
  • Marquesas Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba rubescens
  • Bronze Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba beccarii
  • Palau Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba canifrons
  • Wetar Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba hoedtii
  • Norfolk Island Ground-Dove, Gallicolumba norfolciensis (extinct)

Genus Geotrygon, quail-doves

  • Purplish-backed Quail-Dove, Geotrygon lawrencii
  • Veracruz Quail-Dove, Geotrygon carrikeri
  • Costa Rica Quail-Dove, Geotrygon costaricensis
  • Russet-crowned Quail-Dove, Geotrygon goldmani
  • Sapphire Quail-Dove, Geotrygon saphirina
  • Grey-headed Quail-Dove, Geotrygon caniceps
  • Crested Quail-Dove, Geotrygon versicolor
  • Rufous-breasted Quail-Dove, Geotrygon chiriquensis
  • Olive-backed Quail-Dove, Geotrygon veraguensis
  • White-faced Quail-Dove, Geotrygon albifacies
  • Lined Quail-Dove, Geotrygon linearis
  • White-throated Quail-Dove, Geotrygon frenata
  • Key West Quail-Dove, Geotrygon chrysia
  • Bridled Quail-Dove, Geotrygon mystacea
  • Violaceous Quail-Dove, Geotrygon violacea
  • Ruddy Quail-Dove, Geotrygon montana

Genus Ptilinopus, fruit doves

  • Black-backed Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus cinctus
  • Black-banded Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus alligator
  • Red-naped Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus dohertyi
  • Pink-headed Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus porphyreus
  • Flame-breasted Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus marchei
  • Cream-bellied Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus merrilli
  • Yellow-breasted Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus occipitalis
  • Red-eared Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus fischeri
  • Jambu Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus jambu
  • Maroon-chinned Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus subgularis
  • Black-chinned Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus leclancheri
  • Scarlet-breasted Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus bernsteinii
  • Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus magnificus
  • Pink-spotted Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus perlatus
  • Ornate Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus ornatus
  • Tanna Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus tannensis
  • Orange-fronted Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus aurantiifrons
  • Wallace's Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus wallacii
  • Superb Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus superbus
  • Many-coloured Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus perousii
  • Purple-capped Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus porphyraceus
  • Palau Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus pelewensis
  • Rarotonga Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus rarotongensis
  • Mariana Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus roseicapilla
  • Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus regina
  • Silver-capped Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus richardsii
  • Grey-green Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus purpuratus
  • Makatea Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus chalcurus
  • Atoll Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus coralensis
  • Red-bellied Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus greyii
  • Rapa Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus huttoni
  • White-capped Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus dupetithouarsii
  • Red-moustached Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus mercierii
  • Henderson Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus insularis
  • Coroneted Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus coronulatus
  • Beautiful Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus pulchellus
  • Blue-capped Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus monacha
  • White-bibbed Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus rivoli
  • Yellow-bibbed Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus solomonensis
  • Claret-breasted Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus viridis
  • White-headed Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus eugeniae
  • Orange-bellied Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus iozonus
  • Knob-billed Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus insolitus
  • Grey-headed Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus hyogaster
  • Carunculated Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus granulifrons
  • Black-naped Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus melanospila
  • Dwarf Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus nanus
  • Negros Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus arcanus
  • Orange Dove, Ptilinopus victor
  • Golden Dove, Ptilinopus luteovirens
  • Whistling Dove, Ptilinopus layardi

Genus Nesoenas

  • Pink Pigeon, Nesoenas mayeri

Genus Macropygia

  • Barred Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia unchall
  • Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia amboinensis
  • Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia phasianella
  • Dusky Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia magna
  • Andaman Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia rufipennis
  • Philippine Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia tenuirostris
  • Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia emiliana
  • Black-billed Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia nigrirostris
  • Mackinlay's Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia mackinlayi
  • Little Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia ruficeps

Genus Reinwardtoena

  • Great Cuckoo-Dove, Reinwardtoena reinwardtii
  • Pied Cuckoo-Dove, Reinwardtoena browni
  • Crested Cuckoo-Dove, Reinwardtoena crassirostris

Genus Turacoena

  • White-faced Cuckoo-Dove, Turacoena manadensis
  • Black Cuckoo-Dove, Turacoena modesta

Genus Turtur

  • Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Turtur chalcospilos
  • Black-billed Wood-Dove, Turtur abyssinicus
  • Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Turtur afer
  • Tambourine Dove, Turtur tympanistria
  • Blue-headed Wood-Dove, Turtur brehmeri

Genus Oena

  • Namaqua Dove, Oena capensis

Genus Chalcophaps

  • Emerald Dove, Chalcophaps indica
  • Stephan's Dove, Chalcophaps stephani

Genus Petrophassa, rock pigeons

  • Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon, Petrophassa rufipennis
  • White-quilled Rock-Pigeon, Petrophassa albipennis

Genus Geopelia

  • Diamond Dove, Geopelia cuneata
  • Zebra Dove, Geopelia striata
  • Peaceful Dove, Geopelia placida
  • Barred Dove, Geopelia maugei
  • Bar-shouldered Dove, Geopelia humeralis

Genus Leucosarcia

Genus Claravis

  • Blue Ground-Dove, Claravis pretiosa
  • Purple-winged Ground-Dove, Claravis godefrida
  • Maroon-chested Ground-Dove, Claravis mondetoura

Genus Metropelia

  • Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Metriopelia ceciliae
  • Moreno's Ground-Dove, Metriopelia morenoi
  • Black-winged Ground-Dove, Metriopelia melanoptera
  • Golden-spotted Ground-Dove, Metriopelia aymara

Genus Scardafella

  • Inca Dove, Scardafella inca
  • Scaled Dove, Scardafella squammata

Genus Uropelia

  • Long-tailed Ground-Dove, Uropelia campestris

Genus Starnoenas

  • Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Starnoenas cyanocephala

Genus Caloenas

  • Nicobar Pigeon, Caloenas nicobarica

Genus Trugon

  • Thick-billed Ground-Pigeon, Trugon terrestris

Genus Otidiphaps

  • Pheasant Pigeon, Otidiphaps nobilis

Genus Goura crowned pigeons

  • Western Crowned-Pigeon, Goura cristata
  • Southern Crowned-Pigeon, Goura scheepmakeri
  • Victoria Crowned-Pigeon, Goura victoria

Genus Didunculus

  • Tooth-billed Pigeon, Didunculus strigirostris

Genus Phapitreron

  • White-eared Brown-Dove, Phapitreron leucotis
  • Amethyst Brown-Dove, Phapitreron amethystina
  • Dark-eared Brown-Dove, Phapitreron cinereiceps

Genus Treron green pigeons

  • Cinnamon-headed Green-Pigeon, Treron fulvicollis
  • Little Green-Pigeon, Treron olax
  • Pink-necked Green-Pigeon, Treron vernans
  • Orange-breasted Green-Pigeon, Treron bicincta
  • Pompadour Green-Pigeon[?], Treron pompadora
  • Thick-billed Green-Pigeon, Treron curvirostra
  • Grey-cheeked Green-Pigeon, Treron griseicauda
  • Sumba Green-Pigeon, Treron teysmannii
  • Flores Green-Pigeon, Treron floris
  • Timor Green-Pigeon, Treron psittacea
  • Large Green-Pigeon, Treron capellei
  • Yellow-footed Green-Pigeon, Treron phoenicoptera
  • Bruce's Green-Pigeon, Treron waalia
  • Madagascar Green-Pigeon, Treron australis
  • African Green-Pigeon, Treron calva
  • Pemba Green-Pigeon, Treron pembaensis
  • Sao Tome Green-Pigeon, Treron sanctithomae
  • Pin-tailed Green-Pigeon, Treron apicauda
  • Sumatran Green-Pigeon, Treron oxyura
  • Yellow-vented Green-Pigeon, Treron seimundi
  • Wedge-tailed Green-Pigeon, Treron sphenura
  • White-bellied Green-Pigeon, Treron sieboldii
  • Whistling Green-Pigeon, Treron formosae

Genus Drepanoptila

  • Cloven-feathered Dove, Drepanoptila holosericea

Genus Alectroenas blue pigeons

  • Madagascar Blue-Pigeon, Alectroenas madagascariensis
  • Comoro Blue-Pigeon, Alectroenas sganzini
  • Seychelles Blue-Pigeon, Alectroenas pulcherrima

Genus Ducula imperial pigeons

  • Pink-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula poliocephala
  • White-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula forsteni
  • Mindoro Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula mindorensis
  • Grey-headed Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula radiata
  • Grey-necked Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula carola
  • Green Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula aenea
  • White-eyed Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula perspicillata
  • Blue-tailed Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula concinna
  • Pacific Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula pacifica
  • Micronesian Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula oceanica
  • Polynesian Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula aurorae
  • Nukuhiva Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula galeata
  • Red-knobbed Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula rubricera
  • Spice Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula myristicivora
  • Purple-tailed Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula rufigaster
  • Cinnamon-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula basilica
  • Finsch's Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula finschii
  • Shinning Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula chalconota
  • Island Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula pistrinaria
  • Pink-headed Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula rosacea
  • Christmas Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula whartoni
  • Grey Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula pickeringii
  • Peale's Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula latrans
  • Chestnut-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula brenchleyi
  • Vanuatu Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula bakeri
  • New Caledonian Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula goliath
  • Pinon's Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula pinon
  • Bismarck Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula melanochroa
  • Collared Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula mullerii
  • Zoe's Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula zoeae
  • Mountain Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula badia
  • Dark-backed Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula lacernulata
  • Timor Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula cineracea
  • Pied Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula bicolor
  • Torresian Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula spilorrhoa
  • White Imperial-Pigeon, Ducula luctuosa

Genus Lopholaimus

  • Topknot Pigeon, Lopholaimus antarcticus

Genus Hemiphaga

  • New Zealand Pigeon, Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae

Genus Cryptophaps

  • Sombre Pigeon, Cryptophaps poecilorrhoa

Genus Gymnophaps', mountain pigeons

  • Papuan Mountain-Pigeon, Gymnophaps albertisii
  • Long-tailed Mountain-Pigeon, Gymnophaps mada
  • Pale Mountain-Pigeon Gymnophaps solomonensis

Genus Ectopistes

Bronzewing pigeons

  • Genus Phaps
    • Common Bronzewing, Phaps chalcoptera
    • Brush Bronzewing, Phaps elegans
    • Flock Bronzewing, Phaps histrionica
  • Genus Geophaps
    • Spinifex Pigeon, Geophaps plumifera
    • Squatter Pigeon, Geophaps scripta
    • Partridge Pigeon, Geophaps smithii
  • Genus Ocyphaps
    • Crested Pigeon, Ocyphaps lophotes
  • Genus Henicophaps
    • New Guinea Bronzewing, Henicophaps albifrons
    • New Britain Bronzewing, Henicophaps foersteri


White doves are a traditional symbol of love and peace. A dove was supposed to have been the first creature released by Noah after the flood in order to find land; it came back carrying an olive branch, telling Noah that, somewhere, there was land. A dove with an olive branch, then, has come to symbolize peace.

In politics the name "dove" is sometimes applied to figures who favour peaceful solutions to problems as opposed to "hawks" who favour aggressive action.

See also peace movement, militarism

See also River Dove for the river.

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