Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis)

Spotted Dove

[order] COLUMBIFORMES | [family] Columbidae | [latin] Spilopelia chinensis | [UK] Spotted Dove | [FR] Tourterelle tigrine | [DE] Perlhalstaube | [ES] Tortola Moteada | [NL] Getijgerde Tortel


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Spilopelia chinensis OR widespread
Spilopelia chinensis chinensis Burma to c and e China, Taiwan
Spilopelia chinensis hainana Hainan (off se China)
Spilopelia chinensis suratensis Pakistan to Nepal, India and Sri Lanka
Spilopelia chinensis tigrina n India through Indochina to Philippines and Sundas

Physical charateristics

Note the broad collar of black and white spots
on the hindneck. A bit larger than the Mourning Dove; tail rounded or blunt-tipped, with much white in the corners. Juvenile birds lack the collar but may be told by the shape of the spread tail (Mourning Dove’s tail is pointed).

Listen to the sound of Spotted Dove

[audio: Dove.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 43 cm wingspan max.: 47 cm
size min.: 30 cm size max.: 33 cm
incubation min.: 14 days incubation max.: 25 days
fledging min.: 14 days fledging max.: 16 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 2  


Oriental Region : widespread


Residential areas, parks, river woods. Found mostly in altered habitats of suburbs, especially well-watered areas with trees and lawns. Also found around farms and in groves of trees (including eucalyptus) along streams.


In territorial and courtship display, male flies up steeply with noisy clapping of wings, then glides down in wide circle with wings and tail fully spread. When perched, male displays by bowing and cooing, lowering head to show off spotted collar.
Nest: Site is usually in large shrub or tree, on horizontal branch or fork of branch, 8-40′ above ground. Nest (probably built by both sexes) is loose platform of twigs.
Eggs: 2. White. Incubation probably by both parents; incubation period 2 weeks or more.
Evidently fed by both parents. Presumably as in other doves: at first, fed only “pigeon milk” secreted by crop of adults; later, solid seeds are mixed with this. Development of young and age at first flight not well known.

Feeding habits

Mostly seeds. Diet in North America not studied in detail, but includes seeds of many plants.
Behavior: Forages mostly on the ground, walking about and picking up seeds. Usually forages in pairs or small groups. Will come to bird feeders, but often picks up seeds from ground under elevated feeders.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Spotted Dove status Least Concern


Southeastern Asia. Introduced in Los Angeles; has spread radially to Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, Oceanside, San Diego, southern Arizona. Migration:
Permanent resident in its limited range in California, rarely straying east or north within the state.

Distribution map

Spotted Dove distribution range map

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