Laughing Dove

Streptopelia senegalensis

Occurring over the entire country, most South Africans would be familiar with the Laughing Dove as a common garden bird (to the point of being considered a pest by many). They inhabit a wide range of habitats, avoiding only forests and deserts, and being very much associated with human habitation. They feed primarily on the ground, pecking up small seeds and to a lesser extent include fruit and insects in their diet.

Laughing Doves usually forage in pairs or small groups, though larger aggregations may form at abundant food or water sources. Nests, built by both parents, are flimsy constructions of twigs in trees, against buildings or under roofs, in which clutches of two eggs are incubated by both sexes. The eggs hatch after two weeks, and the chicks fledge after about the same time. They nest throughout the year, with a peak in spring and summer.

The Laughing Dove has a wide distribution across Africa, through the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent, with an apparently stable population estimated at as many as 8-million, which is why the IUCN considers the species to be of least concern.

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18 thoughts on “Laughing Dove

  1. Joanne Sisco

    I’ve always thought of doves as glorified pigeons and quite frankly haven’t had much respect for them. After looking at your beautiful photos, I may have to change my mind.

    The two photos of the bird in flight point out the amazing colours in their wings. I had no idea they were that beautiful. The lighting on that last photo in particular is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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