Spotted Dove Photo Guide

I invite you to take a brief tour through images of this dainty dove.The spotted dove has a black patch with white spots on its neck.This dove is a native of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has been introduced to many other parts of the world.Spotted Dove

Photo Courtesy of Vishal Prabhu @ Bangalore, Oct 2014

All spotted doves sport the black and white pattern on their necks and the overall rosy brown color. But the doves found in India has a distinct rosy mottling (spotted pattern) on its back and wings. Other races do not have such a distinctly patterned back and wings. Females look similar but a tiny bit smaller in size.

Spotted_Dove_Spilopelia_chinensis_Pune

Photo Courtesy of Arun Prabhu @Pune, Oct 2010

The picture given above gives us an excellent chance to observe the patterned neck,back and wings of the Indian subspecies suratensis. This is the most wide-spread form in India and has the most strongly marked back and wings. Because of its patterned neck, the spotted dove is also known as spot-necked,pearl-necked or lace-necked dove.

Burmese spot-necked dove tigrina

Photo Courtesy of Charles Lam @ Yau Tsim Mong, Hong Kong, Aug 2010

You can see the subspecies tigrina in the picture above. Notice that it has hardly any patterns on its back and wings.However, it has the black and white pattern on its neck and is overall, a rosy brown in color.Note that the patterns can be much more prominent sometimes.These birds i.e. the tigrina form, are found in Burma,China,Malaysia,Thailand etc. They tend to be slightly larger than the suratensis form.

These doves do not shy away from human habitations. They can be found in cultivated land,gardens and even in urban areas. They live in lightly forested areas as well

Spotted dove in nest

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Schaffer @ Sydney, Australia, Dec 2013

In the photo above, a spotted dove can be seen in nest with its 5 day old chick.This mother bird has built a nest outside the bedroom window of the photographer.They build a scanty platform of sticks in any suitable bush or small tree. They might choose to build a nest in suitable nooks and crannies of buildings as well – may be because buildings are more common than trees nowadays! In India, they breed throughout the year.Two white eggs are laid and both parents share the the tasks of nest building,incubation and feeding the young. Spotted_dove_fledglings_spilopelia_chinensis

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Schaffer @ Jan 2015

The difference between young birds and adult birds have been described by E.C. Stuart Baker in his book, Indian pigeons and doves. This photo here gives us the wonderful opportunity to verify the theory given in the book. Two cute fledglings are cuddling next to their parent. If you look closely, the adult bird, perched in the center, has more rosy plumage. They young are browner than the parent.Also the young do not have the distinct bold black and white pattern on their neck.

References
1.Spotted Dove page @ Wikipedia
2.Indian pigeons and doves By E.C. Stuart Baker,1913
3.The Book of Indian Birds By Salim Ali,1943
4.The Birds of Southern India By Baker and Inglis,1930
5.The Avi Fauna Of British India And Its Dependencies, Vol.2 By James Murray, 1890

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