African collared-doves are found in an east-west belt from the southern coastal areas of Saudi Arabia and Yemen to coastal Somalia, extreme southeastern Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to Senegal and Mauritainia. The nominate is found from western Ethiopia westward, and the subspecies, Streptopelia roseogrisea arabica, is found in eastern Ethiopia, Somalia and the southern Arabian peninsula. (Gibbs, et al., 2001)
This dove frequents arid scrub with acacia and watering holes or a river nearby. African collared-doves are sometimes found in open agricultural land and grassy areas as well as parks and mangroves. (Gibbs, et al., 2001)
- Other Habitat Features
This dove has a length of 260 to 270 mm and weighs 150 to 160 g. Wing length for males and females is 160 to 169 and 158 to 164 mm, respectively. Tail length is 96 to 124 mm. Tarsal length is 24 to 30 mm, while the bill lenth is 14 to 18 mm (Gibbs et al., 2001).
African collared-doves have a pale rosy-greyish-fawn coloration on their crown, neck, and nape (Goodwin, 1983; Gibbs et al., 2001). On the hindneck, there is a narrow black semi-collar. This is edged with white on the top margin. The back, rump, and most of the upper wing is pale sandy brown. The outer wing coverts are pale grey and the primaries have a brownish-grey color. Under the wings, the coloration is whitish. The central tail is greyish-brown and the other tail feathers are darker grey with white tips. The gradation of the white tips becomes greater toward the outer tail feathers, where the outermost tail feathers have a white edge. The breast, and underparts are a pale rose-pink to whitish. The eye is dark red, the bill is black, and the feet are red. Overall, juvenile birds are paler in coloration. They are similar to the adults, except that the semi-collar is not as evident, the eye is a pale yellowish-brown, and the feet are a greyish-brown (Gibbs et al., 2001).
- Sexual Dimorphism
- male larger
- Range mass
- 150 to 160 g
- 5.29 to 5.64 oz
- Range length
- 260 to 270 mm
- 10.24 to 10.63 in
During courship displays, the male engages in deep bowing with the bill positioned almost toward the ground. The feathers around his head are ruffled and erect. A display flight consists of a rapid ascent with loud wing clapping, then a downward glide with the wing feathers held stiffly and the tail spread out (Goodwin, 1983; Gibbs et al., 2001). Members of the family Columbidae are monogamous (Sibley, 2001). (Gibbs, et al., 2001; Goodwin, 1983; Sibley, 2001)
- Mating System
The breeding season varies throughout this dove's range. In Chad, it occurs during September and October. In Sudan, the breeding season occurs from December to June. In Senegal and the Gambia, breeding occurs in every month throughout the year (Gibbs et al., 2001). Generally, breeding coincides with the availability of food and water (Goodwin, 1983).
The nest is usually in a tree or bush, low to the ground (Goodwin, 1983), and consists of a platform of fine twigs (Gibbs et al. 2001). A clutch is two white eggs (Goodwin, 1983; Gibbs et al., 2001). Incubation time is fifteen days; the male and female share incubation duties. Young fledge in fifteen days and soon thereafter become independent of the parents (Gibbs et al., 2001). (Gibbs, et al., 2001; Goodwin, 1983)
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- year-round breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding season
- The breeding season varies throughout this dove's range.
- Average eggs per season
- Average time to hatching
- 15 days
- Average fledging age
- 15 days
A clutch is two white eggs (Goodwin, 1983; Gibbs et al., 2001). Incubation time is fifteen days, and the male and female share incubation duties. Young are semi-altricial (Sibley, 2001) and fledge in fifteen days. Soon thereafter they become independent of their parents (Gibbs et al., 2001). (Gibbs, et al., 2001; Goodwin, 1983; Sibley, 2001)
- Parental Investment
- no parental involvement
We do not have information on lifespan/longevity for this species at this time.
The doves will roost and drink at the same site and may congregate in very large numbers. African collard-doves will migrate seasonally from the dry northern parts of their range to southern Nigeria and Cameroon (Gibbs et al., 2001). (Gibbs, et al., 2001; Gos, 1989)
We do not have information on home range for this species at this time.
Communication and Perception
African collared-doves utter a distinctive call that consists of two parts. The first part, the coo, is followed by a long descending utterance as "rrrrrrrrroooo" or "corrrrrrooo".
During courship displays, the male engages in deep bowing with the bill positioned almost toward the ground. The feathers around his head are ruffled and erect. A display flight consists of a rapid ascent with loud wing clapping, then a downward glide with the wing feathers held stiffly and the tail spread out.
This dove is capable of seeing ultraviolet light. In addition, it has exceptional hearing capabilities. In some studies it has been shown that doves can hear sounds at wavelengths of approximately 6439 meters long (Gos, 1989). (Gibbs, et al., 2001; Goodwin, 1983; Gos, 1989)
Aftrican collared-doves forage on the ground for a variety of grass seeds and other plants, including cultivated grains (Goodwin, 1983). They will also eat berries, insects, and snails. At times when wetter conditions prevail, the dependence on proximity to watering holes is reduced and they may eat more berries and have a preference for grass plants, especially Panicum laetum. In drier times, they may prefer dicots, especially Tribulus terrestris (Gibbs et al., 2001).
In order to drink water, these doves do not need to tilt their heads back to swallow. Instead, they are capable of putting their beaks in pools of water and using the beak much as humans would use a straw (Gos, 1989). (Gibbs, et al., 2001; Goodwin, 1983; Gos, 1989)
- Animal Foods
- Plant Foods
- seeds, grains, and nuts
We do not have information on predation for this species at this time.
African collared-doves have an impact on the plants and prey they eat.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
For many years, these doves have been used to develop domesticated stock to be kept in aviaries. They are calm, quiet, docile birds and are the symbol of peace and love.
- Positive Impacts
- pet trade
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse affects of African collared-doves on humans.
African collared-doves are listed as Appendix III by CITES.
Alaine Camfield (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Janice Pappas (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
an animal that mainly eats seeds
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
- pet trade
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
- scrub forest
scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sight to communicate
- year-round breeding
breeding takes place throughout the year
Gibbs, D., E. Barnes, J. Cox. 2001. Pigeons and Doves: A Guide to the Pigeons and Doves of the World. Sussex: Pica Press.
Goodwin, D. 1983. Pigeons and Doves of the World, 3rd edition. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Gos, M. 1989. Doves. Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications, Inc.
Harper, D. 1986. Pet Birds for Home and Garden. London: Salamander Books Ltd.
Pire, J. 2000. "Ringneck Dove History" (On-line). Accessed 03/05/04 at http://www.internationaldovesociety.com/Articles/ringneck%20history.htm.
Sibley, D. 2001. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.