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Tag Archives: Collared Dove

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Aviary Birds: Introducing the Ring or Collared Dove

Also known as the Barbary, ring-necked or domestic dove, ring doves (Streptopelia risoria) are among the most popular and confiding of all pigeon-like birds.  Although given species status, this quiet, 9 inch-long bird may be a mere variant of the African collared dove (S. roseogrisea), which was domesticated nearly 3,000 years ago.  Those in the pet trade likely also carry the genes of the Eurasian collared dove (S. decaocto) and the red-eyed dove (S. semitorquata), rendering them truly unique.

Feral Populations

Escaped or released ring doves are well-established in the USA (Florida, California), Italy, Taiwan and England.  Unlike their cousin, the ubiquitous rock dove or “city pigeon”, these delicate birds are usually quite welcome in their adopted homes.

Color Variations

Ring doves are typically a pleasing fawn in overall coloration, with a beautiful blush of pink about the chest and a black band across the back of the neck.  White forms, known as “Java doves” are popular in the pet trade, as are apricot and pied specimens.  Most ring doves carry the white gene, so normally-colored birds often surprise their owners with “Java dove” chicks.

Care and Breeding

Although ring doves can adapt to a large parrot cage need flying rather than climbing space and therefore are best housed in an outdoor aviary.  They can be habituated to cool temperatures, but, unless a heated retreat is available, should be kept indoors when temperatures stray below 50 F.

Ring doves are usually good parents, and a pair makes an excellent introduction to bird breeding.  Mated doves retain their good nature even when kept in the company of small finches and other birds, and require but a simple platform and some sticks as a nest site.

Their basic care and feeding roughly follows that of the diamond dove, which I have described in the article Diamond Doves in the Wild and Captivity.  Please write in if you would like detailed husbandry information.

Further Reading

This commonly-kept bird has played a quite uncommon role in saving one of the world’s most highly endangered birds, the pink pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri) of Mauritius.  I had the good fortune e to be involved in the rescue effort…please see my article Saving the Endangered Pink Pigeon  for the story.



Image referenced from Wikipedia and originally posted by Astirmays

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