Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis

  • Forests
  • Mountain slopes and forests
  • Invasive
  • Fauna
  • Birds


Sometimes also called the Mountain dove, Pearl-necked dove or Lace-necked dove. The spotted dove, Spilopelia chinensis is a relatively small, long-tailed pigeon measuring 28 to 32 centimeters and originating from the Indian Sub-Continent and South-east Asia. Although there is considerable variation of plumage across populations, the dove is primarily grey or brownish in colour and is distinguished by a black patch with white spots on the back and sides of the neck. Its underparts range from pale pink to grey, while the tip of its tail is white.

Habitat and ecology

The spotted dove can be found in woodlands, scrub and farmlands but also dwell in urban areas and are mostly bound to lowland areas. The species spends much of its time dwelling on the ground where it forages mainly for seeds, grains, or fallen fruit, and has been occasionally observed to eat insects such as winged termites.

Spotted doves sometimes engage in display flights taking off at a steep angle with a loud clapping or flutter of the wing and will then slowly glide down opening their tails. During courtship, males will coo, bow and make aerial displays. Both males and females will build the nest of a flimsy cup of twigs in low vegetation, on the ground or on buildings. The female lays two eggs, and both male and female participate in the incubation lasting 13 days and the subsequent feeding of juveniles.


Conservation and threats

The spotted dove is listed as ‘Least Concern’ in the IUCN Red List of Species. Spotted doves are common throughout their native range and in introduced regions. No conservation actions are presently undertaken for this species.

Did you know?

Birds who mate will preen each other, especially around their head and neck, a behaviour which helps the pair to bond.