Order: Columbiformes

Family:  Columbidae

Scientific name: Spilopelia chinensis, Scopoli, 1768

IUCN Red list status- Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Spotted Dove is also known as Pearl Necked Dove and Lace Necked Dove


Spotted Dove is 28-32 cms long and weighs 150-60 gms. Adult has pale brown upperparts, streaked with dark buff. Breast is pale pinkish-grey. Belly is white. Long tail is brown with white tips. When in flight, we can see the blackish flight feathers. Head is pale, pinkish to greyish. There is a black patch finely spotted with white on the rear neck, between nape and upper back. Bill is black, eyes are reddish-brown and legs and feet are red. Both sexes look similar. Juvenile has duller plumage and lacks the rear neck patch.


Spotted Dove feeds mainly on seeds, grains, fallen fruits and seeds of plants. Sometimes they also takes insects and winged termites. They are able to drink water directly without tilling the head back like other birds. They forage in ground and grass mainly during daytime in pairs or in small groups.


Spotted Dove is often seen near human habitations. It can be seen in mountains, villages, suburban areas and gardens. It may be also found in open woodlands and farmlands, and rare in dense forests. In India it is distributed throughout the union except the dry North West areas. It is also seen in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Reproductive Behaviour

Breeding time of Spotted Dove is throughout the year. Generally they are monogamous Courtship includes male bows the head with a call showing the black and white patch of the rear neck. He also make an upward flight from a perch, often with clapping wing beats, and then, a long downwards glide in circular dive, with wings and tail widely spread. Nest is a loose platform made with twigs, grasses and roots which is built by both birds. Normally one or two white slightly glossy eggs are laid. Incubation of 14 to 16 days is shared by both parents. Young ones are fed by both adults with crop milk during the initial days.


Call is a cooing “kou-kour-kour”, a low “coo-croo-coo”, a soft “te-croo-croo”, and three note “coo-coo-croo”.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Red Collared Dove (Spilopelia tranquebarica)
  • Eurasian Collared Dove (Spilopelia decaocto)
  • Spilopelia chinensis chinensis of Myanmar and Central China
  • Spilopelia chinensis tigrina of Bangladesh and Northeast India.

Migratory Behaviour

Non Migratory, Common Resident