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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Bar-shouldered Dove

The Bar-shouldered Dove, Geopelia humeralis, is a bird native to Australia. They are found over the east coast from Southern New South Wales (with increasing numbers in the Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions), north to Cape York Peninsula and west to the Pilbara region (about Onslow, Western Australia. They are usually found in thick vegetation where water is present, damp gullies, forests and gorges, mangroves, plantations, swamps, eucalyptus woodlands, tropical and sub-tropical scrubs and river margins. They can be found both at inland and coastal regions.

This dove is a medium sized bird varying in size from 10.4 to 12 inches. The dove has a blue-gray breast with checkered brown-bronze wings. The nape is similar to that of the Peaceful Dove in that the nape feathers are striated* but differs in that the Bar-shouldered Dove does not have striated throat feathers like the Peaceful Dove. Furthermore, the nape feathers are copper in color. These doves are also often confused with the introduced and common Spotted Turtle-Dove. The eye ring tends to be grey but red-brown when breeding. The juveniles are duller in color.

Doves are often found in pairs, groups or large loose flocks and are seen commonly feeding on seeds on the ground. Breeding season is from September to January in the south and February to April in the north. Its nest is a flat twig and grass platform usually in trees and shrubs, mangrove or scrub. The dove will lay two, white, glossy and rounded eggs.

It is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

*striated: having grooves, furrows; usually parallel.

Bar-shouldered Dove