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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Diamond Dove

The Diamond Dove, Geopelia cuneata, is a resident bird of Central, West and Northern Australia. It predominantly exists in areas near water but which are lightly arid or semi-arid in nature. They can occasionally be spotted in Southern Australia in parks and gardens when their central habitat is very dry.

They are one of Australia’s smallest pigeons being 7.5 to 8.3 inches in length. They have white spots and black edges on their wings, orange eyes and red eye-rings. The head, neck, and breast are light blue-gray. The bill is a dark gray color. The abdomen is a creamy color while the back and tail is brownish gray. The legs and feet are pink. The female’s eye ring is less vivid and their plumage is browner in color.

The Diamond Dove can often be seen on the ground with a toddling run. Their flight is strong and direct and can be rippling. The wings can make a whistling “frrr” noise when flying. They tend to be seen in pairs or small groups feeding off the ground. They feed off seed mostly from grasses. They will also eat ants.

The doves tend to breed after rain but mostly in spring in Southern Australia. Nests are usually built from interwoven grasses and/or twig. They are of fragile construction. Two white eggs are usually laid and incubated for 13 to 14 days. Chicks are usually fully feathered and flying by two weeks.

Diamond Dove