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There’s something so beautiful about a pure white pigeon or dove.

There seems to be a problem in North America: too many doves look alike! :)

So the solution? Your very own dove identification chart:

Dove Dilemma

The half-dozen most common doves in North America have a certain sameness about them–they tend to be grayish-brown with small heads, pointed bills, and pinkish feet. But they do have key distinguishing features that will help you nail the correct ID. Study the keys to identifcation below. You can also learn more about each bird in our online bird guide by clicking on its name. With a little effort you’ll solve the dove dilemma!

MournDove_ChristianeDornbusch_IL10.gif EurasianCollaredDove_PaulDianeJamesson_FL09.gif
Mourning Dove
Christiane Dornbusch, IL

Keys to ID:

Length: 12 inches

Black spots on wings

Slender body

Long pointed tail

Eurasian Collared-Dove
Paul & Diane Jamesson, FL

Keys to ID:

Length: 13 inches

Black band on nape of neck

Heavier than Mourning Dove

Square tail

CommGroundDove_CameronRognan_CLO.gif WhiteWingedDove_RichardLee_TX10.gif
Common Ground Dove
Cameron Rognan, Cornell Lab

Keys to ID:

Length: 6.5 inches

Scalloped feathers at nape

Short neck, stubby wings

Compact body, short tail

White-winged Dove
Teri Zambon, TX

Keys to ID:

Length: 11.5 inches

White strip on edge of folded wing

Plain back, no spots

Shorter tail than Mourning Dove

IncaDove_TimSpringer_TX10.gif WhiteTippedDove_DarrinOBrieb_TX08.gif
Inca Dove
Tim Springer, TX

Keys to ID:

Length: 8.5 inches

Scalloped feathers with scaly pattern

Small but long tailed

Tail edged with white

White-tipped Dove
Darrin O’Brien, TX

Keys to ID:

Length: 11.5 inches

Pale face and underparts

Short tail and short, broad wings

South Texas only

(The above info and photos are from: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/learning/trickyIDs/dove-dilemma.)

Now you wouldn’t find it hard to identify these doves:

The World’s Most Beautiful and Colorful Doves

Jun 10th, 2009 by BrenNolasco

Here are the 15 most colorful and prettiest doves in the world.

Doves and pigeons belong to family columbidae and are used interchangeably. In ornithological practice, dove is used for smaller species while pigeon is for larger ones. Here are the 15 most colorful and prettiest doves in the world.

1. Orange Dove (Ptilinopus victor)

The attractive Orange Dove is a one of the most colorful doves. This lovely bird is distributed and native to the islands in the Pacific like Fiji, Vanua Levu, Laucala, Oamea, Rabi and Taveuni. It is also commonly known as Flame Dove

2. Pink-headed Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus porphyreus)

The small but colorful Pink-headed Fruit-dove is a resident breeding native bird in Indonesia. It inhabits the mountain forests of Bali, Java and Sumatra. It is a shy and inconspicuous species. It is also informally known as Pink-necked Fruit-dove or Temminck’s Fruit Pigeon.

3. Jambu Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus jambu)

The colorful Jambu Fruit-dove is a resident breeding bird in the islands of Kalimantan, Java and Sumatra in Indonesia including Brunei, Malaysia and Thailand. This species occurs in mangrove swamps and lowland rainforests up to 1,500 m and is also found in second growth woodland.

4. White-bellied Green Pigeon (Treron sieboldii)

The beautiful White-bellied Green-pigeon’s natural habitat is temperate forests. It can be found in Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

5. Ruddy Cuckoo Dove (Macropygia emiliana)

File:Macropygia emiliana (Ruddy Cuckoo Dove)8.jpg

The uniquely colored Ruddy Cuckoo-dove is a bird that can be found in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. It is a species of bird in the columbidae family.

6. Beautiful Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus)

The Beautiful Fruit-dove found on the rainforest of New Guinea is 19 cm (7½ in) long. It can also be found in the islands of Batanta, Salawati, Waigeo and Misool and West Papua in Indonesia. It is also colloquially known as the Rose-fronted Pigeon or Crimson-capped Fruit-dove.

7. Brush Bronzewing (Phaps elegans)

The Brush Bronzewing is native to the ‘land down under – Australia’ and its natural habitat is tropical and subtropical dry forests.

8. Many-colored Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus perousii)

The Many-colored Fruit-dove can be found in south-west Pacific Ocean specifically on the islands of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. It occurs in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. Its favorite fruit is fig.

9. Thick-billed Green-pigeon (Treron curvirostra)

The Thick-billed Green-pigeon is a colorful bird that can be found in South and Southeast Asia. Its natural habitats are tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical mangrove forests of the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It can also be found in Bhutan, China, Hong Kong India and Nepal.

10. Coroneted Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus coronulatus)

File:Ptilinopus coronulatus -Central Park Zoo-8a.jpg
The Coroneted Fruit-dove of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea inhabits subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

11. Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)

The Common Bronzewing is endemic to Australia one of its most common pigeons. It is able to live in almost any habitat, with the possible exception of very barren areas and dense rainforests. On the average, it reaches between 30–36 cm or 12–14 inches in length.

12. Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus)

The colorful and medium-sized Superb Fruit-dove grows up to 24 cm long. Males are more colorful than females but both sexes have yellow eyes and eye-rings. Other Common names of this species is Purple-crowned Fruit-dove.

13. Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica)

The Emerald Dove of South Asia specifically Pakistan and Sri Lanka builds a scant stick nest in a tree of up to 5 meters. This lovely-looking dove is also informally known by the names of Green Dove and Green-winged pigeon.

14. Mariana Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus roseicapilla)

The Mariana Fruit-dove is endemic to the Pacific islands of Guam and the Northern Marianas. This small but colorful dove grows up to 24 cm long. Its diet consists mainly of fruits and is also known locally as Mwee’mwe in the Carolinian language, Totot on Guam or Paluman Totut in Northern Mariana Islands.

15. Rose Crowned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus regina)

The medium-sized Rose-crowned Fruit-dove of Australia occurs in lowland rainforests and monsoon forests. It can be found also in Lesser Sunda Islands and Maluku Islands of Indonesia. It is also commonly known as Pink-capped Fruit-dove or Swainson’s Fruit-dove.

I hope you have had a wonderful time reading this. Thanks!

(From: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/107387_the-worlds-most-beautiful-and-colorful-doves#ixzz1GEOXYULC)

Elmo simply cannot stand not being the centre of attention. I was cuddling up to Georgie, taking a video of her sweet cooings and nibbles, when Elmo came over with his loud demanding coos and basically pushed his way over to get my attention.

Just see for yourself:

LOL! :)

Saw this story posted on facebook and I just had to share it!

A pigeon perch for two

March 7, 2011 : 8:55 PM ET

By Ted Brewer
One of the pigeons is, neurologically speaking, a bit challenged. The other is kind of peculiar looking. And though they were once ostracized by their respective flocks, they have been inseparable since meeting each other.

Christy and Slippers have both been at Wild Friends for well over a year, but the two had never laid eyes on each other, at least not until they both wound up in quarantine together.

Christy and Slippers
Christy and Slippers

Wild Friends is home to approximately 100 adoptable pigeons who live in two separate aviaries. Christy lived in the aviary reserved for what Wild Friends calls its “special needs” pigeons, a small number of birds whose physical limitations prevent them from thriving in the larger pigeon aviary.

Best Friends took Christy in because of a neurological problem that causes her to hold her head to one side and lose her balance easily. She is normally able to roll over and get back up when she falls, but one morning she was found lying on her side, with her head pressed into the dirt, unable to right herself.“It appeared the other pigeons had been picking on her,” says Best Friends’ wildlife rehabilitator Barbara Weider. “It may have been because Christy was sick.”

Barbara and Wild Friends’ manager Carmen Smith realized Christy was sick when they brought her in that day. They weighed her and found she was severely underweight. She was not eating enough to survive. So Barbara and Carmen had to feed her by tube for several months while treating her for coccidia, a type of parasite. They feared Christy might not make it.

In the meantime, Christy stayed in quarantine, where she could be more easily monitored and not exposed to the outside elements. At the time, temperatures were falling well below freezing at the Sanctuary.

“Some pigeons do very poorly in temperature extremes,” Barbara says.

Like Christy, Slippers doesn’t do well when the weather turns cold. And again like Christy, he’s a loner, perhaps because he has an unusual array of feathers on his legs and feet, which make him appear as though he’s wearing slippers (hence the name). He has no physical problems and lives in the main pigeon aviary, but instead of staying warm with the other pigeons inside their heated nest area, he often preferred to stay outside at night. The caregivers noticed he was fluffed and shivering in the mornings.

Knowing Slippers wasn’t fitting in and was freezing at night because of it and considering that Christy was probably feeling quite lonely in quarantine, Carmen and Barbara decided to try a little experiment. They placed Slippers in quarantine with Christy — just to see how they would get along.

The experiment could not have been more successful. The two bonded almost immediately and now cannot seem to get close enough to each other.

“They are always smashed against each other,” Barbara says, laughing. “They are always cuddling. And if they hadn’t both had health problems at the same time, they never would have met.”

Since they united, Christy’s health has been on the rebound, and she is finally eating enough on her own. Barbara and Carmen no longer have reason to fear the worst. Far from it.

Can’t get enough Wild Friends? Click here for more from the wild side of the Sanctuary.

The special care that the Sanctuary is able to provide is made possible by people like you! You can help create these happy endings by sponsoring one of the residents at Wild Friends. Click here for more information.

Photos by Molly Wald

(Article from: http://news.bestfriends.org/index.cfm?page=news&mode=entry&entry=C437065E-CC9B-0E00-A9FA035BC6087E21)

I found Elmo on the window sill again today! Yay!

I could hear him cooing through the closed door and when I opened it I saw him bowing up and down on the window sill, cooing to a woodpigeon that was in the garden. Silly boy!

As soon as Elmo saw me though, he flew onto the bed and danced over to me – obviously happy to see me!

Elmo’s flying has been getting better (who’s been giving him lessons?). When we first received Elmo he was understandably unsure about us and his new home, and he would do some nervous backflips when he tried to fly. Over time, as he realised how much we love him and how safe his home is, Elmo’s flying became more controlled and less erratic.

Although Elmo cannot fly properly, he does like to have a good flap every now and then. He’ll stretch his wings and lift off from the sofa and land on the floor – then take off from the floor for a few more short flights up.

Once Elmo actually flew at Richard when Richard was mock-running away from him! He’s never done that before and hasn’t done it since, but it was very impressive.

Here’s some old footage of Elmo home alone (taken from the webcam):

Elmo greeting us through the window:

And when we opened the door:

Boy, do pigeons smell when they are wet!! :)

Yesterday, after a lovely bath, Georgie and Elmo stank! I mean, they really stank up the place. I could smell Elmo from the other end of the sofa. You think wet dog smells bad? Try wet pigeon!

It was a sunny day yesterday and I had a feeling that our pigeons might want to have a bath. So I filled up a bowl, placed it on the floor and swished my fingers in it. Sure enough, Georgie came over, attracted by the sound. She’s so predicatable!

Usually Elmo comes over too and tries to have a bath when Georgie’s in the bowl, however, yesterday he was having a nap on the sofa when Georgie was bathing, so he didn’t notice what was going on. But I know he’d want a bath so I asked my husband to gently wake Elmo up and show him the water. Elmo came running over when he saw the bowl, shaking furiously in anticipation!! So cute.

We like to help our pigeons when they have a bath by dripping the water onto their back – it runs off their back and tail feathers onto the floor – pigeon feathers seem to be waterproof initially. This gets them really excited and they splash about and dunk their heads and body in the water. After all this they then sit still in the water – as if to give themselves a thorough soaking. I simply love watching pigeons bathe. It’s so entertaining! :)


Wet Elmo


Georgie preparing to splash!


Wet Georgie

After their bath it’s time to flap about to expell the water. Flap, flap, up, up! A few of these and they’re ready for a nap. Sit in a corner and wait to dry off. Then, once they feel dry enough, simultaneous preening. Preening to pigeons must be like yawning to humans: it’s contagious. Watch one pigeon preen and another will be doing it too. Soon the whole flock will be in the middle of an intense preening session.

When Elmo and Georgie are both nice and dry they are very glossy looking. And they return to their usual lovely-smelling selves. :)


"What's up there?" wonders Elmo. Ed and Ted (the penguins) are also intrigued.


Flapping time!

Georgie didn’t lay a second egg so obviously I didn’t get a video of her laying the egg. Oh well, maybe next time.

Georgie looks lovely (she’s feeling really chunky) and her health is good. I give her some vitamin D and calcium supplements in her water a few times a week, however, recently she’s decided she doesn’t like the taste of it. When there aren’t any supplements in the water Georgie will guzzle the water down. When there are Georgie will take little dainty sips. This is very annoying because no matter how many times I explain to her the benefits of vitamin D and calcium, Georgie still doesn’t want to drink the water and will only sip a little when she’s thirsty.

Elmo, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to mind the taste and he’ll dunk his head in the water, take big slurps and emerge with a (sticky) wet forehead. He cracks me up! :D

I’ve known for a while now that Georgie had eggs on the mind. All the usual symptoms were there: looking for a nest as well as excessive courting and mating behaviour. Anything could set her off. Usually just hearing my voice would get Georgie in the mood, but when she’s decided she’s going to lay eggs, well, even Richard’s voice would do! LOL!

I foolishly thought that if I didn’t give Georgie a nest then she wouldn’t lay any eggs. How naive of me!

Last night George jumped down from her usual spot on the sofa onto Elmo’s nest. She knows that he has a nest there and usually doesn’t try to go there because Elmo would of course attack her, but last night she was obviously desperate. I didn’t read her behaviour correctly and thought she was trying to get to the peanut jar so I popped her into her cage so that she could eat. After a minute or so I looked back to see what Georgie was doing and saw that she was about to lay an egg while standing on edge of her cage! OMG!

I quickly picked Georgie up and placed her on the pink fleece (that she loves so much) and watched her lay her egg. It’s actually quite painful to watch because of the size of the egg compaired to the cloaca (vent). I do feel for Georgie. Poor girl. At one point she got the egg out half way but then stopped for a second to regroup her energy and then she gave one last push and the egg came out. Phew!

Once the egg was laid though, Georgie ran away as if not interested. Fair enough. I hadn’t given her a chance to really bond to a nesting place so she disconnected her thoughts from the egg pretty quickly. Her eggs are of course infertile so there’s no problem with her not incubating them.


Georgie walks away from her freshly laid egg

I do feel a bit guilty for not having given her a nest but I just didn’t want her health to be compromised as it did the last time she laid an egg.

Today Georgie is no different than the last few days. She’s quite chunky in weight (hooray!) and she’s sitting comfortably on my lap. We’re expecting her to lay the second egg tomorrow and we’ll try to capture the moment on video. In the meantime, here’s a video of Georgie laying an egg a year ago:

Guess where I found Elmo this afternoon upon returning home from work? … On the window sill!! He hasn’t been on the window sill in months!!

And how do I know this, you ask? Well, I can tell by following the poop trail he leaves. If Elmo spends a lot of time in one area there’ll be a bunch of poops nearby. It’s as simple as that! :)

I had wondered why Elmo had stopped sitting on the window ledge this winter. Did something spook him? Maybe he got bored with the view, but now that spring is around the corner he’s taken an interest in the garden again? I wonder…

Since moving into our new flat we’ve had many different visitors to our garden. I’d like to post some of the photos I took of these very welcome visitors:


Grey squirrel






Long-tailed tit


Fox cub


Brown rat




Feral pigeons!


Feral pigeons!

With all these visitors how could Elmo get bored with the views?! :)