Tag Archives: Red-eyed Dove

Red-eyed Dove

Streptopelia semitorquata

The Red-eyed Dove is a denizen of well wooded habitats (both naturally occurring and plantations), and is quite closely associated with watercourses. They are also a well-known garden bird in many of our towns and cities and have actually enlarged their distribution range in association with human settlements. They feed primarily on seeds but also takes some fruits, flowers and insects. Adults of these large doves weigh around 250g and grow to 35cm in length.

Unlike many other species of pigeons, Red-eyed Doves are not particularly gregarious and are usually seen singly or in pairs, with larger congregations of 50 to 100 birds being very rare. Pairs are monogamous and breed throughout the year. Their nests are flimsy stick platforms built in tall trees or reedbeds, and clutches usually consist of 2 eggs that are incubated for 2 weeks. The chicks leave the nest when they are around 3 weeks old.

The Red-eyed Dove occurs over most of sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of the drier desert and semi-desert areas. In South Africa they are found in every province, avoiding only the driest districts of the Northern Cape. It is considered of least concern by the IUCN.