10 Different Types of Doves in Australia

Types of Doves in Australia
Photo by 卡晨

Doves are one of the most easily recognized urban birds. Most of them live in tropical and subtropical climates, including Australia, making them a very successful and ancient group with a nearly widespread distribution.

In this article, we shall discuss the different types of doves in Australia.

1. Spotted Dove

Spotted Doves are generally light brown above, with darker centers to the back and wing feathers. The head is grey, while the neck and underparts are grey-brown with pink tints. The white-tipped tail is visible in flight.

Their broad black collar at the base of the hind neck, which contains numerous white patches, serves as an identifying feature.

The plumage of both sexes is similar. Young spotted doves are identical to adults but have a dark grey collar instead of black and white.

Spotted doves eat seeds, grains, and scraps. You can find these birds alone or in small groups, grazing on the ground. These birds frequently enter animal buildings, such as chicken coops, to feed on commercial food.

Although spotted doves can breed at any time of the year, the peak breeding season is from September to December. When the male conducts a show flight, it rises steeply while clapping its wings loudly.

When the bird is about 30 or 40 meters above the ground, he opens his wings and tail and flies down to a perch. Males will also approach a female, bending their heads and fluffing up the black and white neck patch. 

These birds are common around human habitations, and you can see them in parks, gardens, and agricultural areas. Some of them stay in the same area all year while others move around local areas.

2. Peaceful Dove

This specie is among the different types of doves in Australia. They are small, sturdy doves with wedge-shaped wings and long graduated tails. Their cere, eye-ring, and eye are all blue-grey. 

The upper body is primarily brown-grey with dark barring. Their head and lower throat are a softer gray with black scallops. The lower body is pinkish in color, and the throat is white.

Most of the time, they are observed in pairs or small groups near bodies of water. Their call is quite peculiar, giving rise to one of their common names, ‘Doodle-Doo.’ They are also known as the Placid, Zebra, or Barred dove.

Peaceful Doves live in the open dry woodland with a grassy understory and on the edges of rainforests. In drier places, they stay in woods alongside rivers and pandanus and vine thickets. They forage on the ground and roost in trees.

Furthermore, peaceful doves feed on the ground in open, bare regions, paddocks, roadsides, and gardens. They primarily consume grass and sedge seeds, as well as small insects. These birds need to drink water at least twice every day.

3. Diamond Doves

These are one of the beautiful types of doves in Australia. A diamond dove’s body is gray, and its darker wings have white spots or “diamonds” on them.

There are also white and silver diamond doves because of selective breeding in captivity. The colorful ring around the eye is the only visual difference between male and female diamond doves.

It is easier to pair up male and female diamond doves for breeding since males have a wider red/orange ring around the eye than females.

Diamond doves need grit added to seeds made for doves and pigeons since they do not use their beaks to break and crush food. Their diet consists of seeds, with some fresh greens, soft fruits, and the occasional piece of hard-boiled egg.

Furthermore, diamond doves don’t mimic or talk. This is a desirable trait for people who prefer a quiet bird companion, and many people find the gentle cooing sound they make to be calming.

They do not scream as louder birds do, and their coos can vary. Although diamond doves are not biters, handling them is not recommended due to their fragility.

However, they are gregarious creatures and require company. They’re simply not just the type of bird that will want to cuddle with you.

4. Bar-shouldered Dove

These birds are also among the different types of doves in Australia. The Bar-shouldered bird is a medium-sized dove with a long tail.

Adult doves have a blue-grey head, neck, and upper breast. They also have a unique reddish-bronze patch on the hindneck that is surrounded by dark barring.

Younger doves lack this patch and barring and are generally duller. On the lower breast, there is a prominent pinkish bar. The lower body is paler than the upper body. They have a reddish eye and a blue-grey eye-ring.

Bar-shouldered Doves also stay in wooded regions with a grassy understory and open areas near water. They are also commonly spotted in urban areas and are regularly seen in mangroves.

Bar-shouldered Doves forage on the ground in short grass near cover. They mostly feed on grass, herb, sedge seeds, and rhizomes.

These birds drink all day, though especially in the afternoon, and seek shelter in the shade of dense trees or shrubs.

5. Common Emerald Dove

This is one of the popular types of dove in Australia. The average length of the stocky, medium-sized common emerald dove is 23–27 cm. Their wings and back have a brilliant emerald green color. 

Broad black and white bars can be seen on the lower back during flight. The flight feathers and tail are a dark brown color. The bird’s legs and foot are rufous, and its legs and bill are bright red.

This species is widespread in mangroves, dense wet woodlands, farms, and tropical forests. It lays two cream-colored eggs in a sparse stick nest that it builds in a tree up to five meters. 

Most often, emerald doves are found alone, in pairs, or in small groups. They spend little time in trees other than when they are roosting. These birds are terrestrial, and you’ll often find them searching for fallen fruits on the ground.

6. Laughing Dove

This little long-tailed dove is found in dry scrub and semi-desert areas, where pairs can often be spotted foraging on the ground.

It has a distinctive design thanks to its rufous and black chequered necklace. They’re also among the types of doves in Australia.

The species rarely appears in bigger groups and is often observed in couples or small parties. Larger groups often assemble when drinking in arid-area waterholes.

Small groups congregate on trees near waterholes before flying there to suck up water like other pigeon family members.

Laughing doves eat seeds that have fallen to the ground, such as grass seeds, other vegetative matter, and small ground invertebrates like termites and beetles. 

In addition, they mostly forage on the ground in fields and other grassy areas because they are terrestrial. Their flight is swift and direct, with the regular beats and sporadic sharp flicks of the wings.

7. Superb Fruit Dove

This is a little bird with a short tail and short, rounded wings. They’re also among the different types of doves in Australia. The male has white underparts, a grey upper breast, an orange hindneck, and a blue-black breastband.

Females are green with white underparts and grey breasts. Their crown has a faint purple patch on it. Young birds look like females but don’t have the purple crown patch. Another common name for these birds is the purple-crowned fruit dove.

The Superb fruit dove inhabits mangroves, wooded stream banks, and rainforest margins. You can also find them in isolated figs, Lilly pillies, and pittosporums.

Superb fruit doves are primarily found in large trees and are arboreal (they live entirely in trees). Their diet consists almost entirely of fruit. They can swallow large items thanks to their wide gape.

These doves build a frail platform nest made of twigs between 5 and 30 meters up in bushy trees. While the male incubates during the day, the female does so at night.

The sound of fruit dropping through the leaves and onto the forest floor below most frequently indicates their presence.

8. Brown Cuckoo-Dove

The Brown Cuckoo-Dove is a large rainforest pigeon with a long, tapering tail. A pale streak and a red eye-ring are visible underneath its blue-grey eye.

The female has a more vibrant chestnut cap and a scaly pattern on her breast. In addition, their legs and feet are bright red.

They fly low among the trees in a powerful and beautiful manner. Other names for this bird include the Brown, Pheasant, and Large-tailed Pigeon. They’re also among the different types of doves in Australia.

Brown Cuckoo-Doves eat a wide variety of fruit, berries, and seeds from rainforest trees, shrubs, and vines.

They often hang upside down to get fruit while they dine in the trees in the early morning and late afternoon. Therese birds can break down hard seeds.

Brown cuckoo-doves build their nests in rainforest trees, shrubs, and on the tips of vines and ferns. The nest is a light assembly of twigs and sticks placed sideways on a branch.

When the young hatch, they are coated in long, thick-down feathers. Both parents take turns incubating and caring for their children.

9. Wompoo Fruit Dove

You can identify this dove by its big size, deep purple throat, breast, upper belly, and yellow lower belly. It has green underparts, a paler grey head, and a prominent yellow wing bar. It is possibly the most beautiful among the different types of doves in Australia.

The Wompoo fruit dove prefers rainforest habitat and is rarely seen elsewhere. The birds do not travel long distances but rather wander in small, localized areas in search of fruit-bearing trees.

Wompoo fruit doves eat a wide range of rainforest fruits. The fruits, which can be quite large, are consumed whole. When feeding, the birds are difficult to see, so the best way to find them is to listen for their calls or the sound of fruit falling.

They may gather together to feed in large flocks where food is abundant. These birds pluck fruits from trees and vines that are high in the canopy.

The breeding season may change in response to favorable weather conditions in the northern part of the dove’s range. Both sexes build the twig nest, which they place low down in a tree. 

They lay a white egg, and both sexes share incubation and caring for the chick. Only one chick is raised per season; however, birds may reproduce again if the initial attempt fails.

10. Zebra Dove

The zebra dove has brown upper parts with fine white and black striated plumage along the neck and sides. Their breast is cinnamon in color, and their face is greyish blue.  

A faint blue line runs from the mandible to the eye. Their tail feathers sometimes have white tips. The legs are pink, while the bill is blue. Its length is roughly 8 inches (20 cm). They’re among the different types of doves in Australia.

Furthermore, zebra doves live in open countryside, parks, gardens, and farmland in their natural habitat. This bird also lives in forests, far from populated areas. They feed on seeds but will also eat any food from humans.


There you have it – 10 different types of doves in Australia. These birds are easier to care for and less demanding. So, a dove bird can be the right choice if you want a friendly and peaceful feathery companion. Thanks for reading!

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