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11

Diamond Dove

(Geopelia cuneata)
Alternate name(s): "Little Dove", "Red-eyed Dove"; misnomer: "Turtle-dove*"
Aboriginal name(s): "mennabroonka" (WA)

Size: 19-21 cm
Weight: 28-39 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Diamond Dove at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Diamond Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2019]

Near-frontal view of a male Diamond Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2020]

Near-frontal view of a male Diamond Dove (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Near-frontal view of a male Diamond Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2019]

Near-lateral view of a male Diamond Dove; note the conspicuous orbital skin
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2019]

Near-lateral view of a male Diamond Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2020]

Lateral view of a resting male Diamond Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2019]

Lateral view of a male Diamond Dove feeding on the ground
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Close-up lateral view of a male Diamond Dove feeding on the ground; note the prominent red eye-ring and the richness of the speckle pattern on its wings
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Lateral view of a male Diamond Dove (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Station, near Cunnamulla, QLD, September 2017]

Lateral view of a male Diamond Dove hiding in the shade of a shrub
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, January 2017]

Lateral/ventral view of a male Diamond Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2019]

Near-dorsal view of a male Diamond Dove (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Near-dorsal view of a male Diamond Dove feeding on the ground
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Near-dorsal/ventral view of a male Diamond Dove (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Marrakai track, Top End, NT, August 2018]

Dorsal view of a male Diamond Dove (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Dorsal view of a male Diamond Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Comparison of a male Diamond Dove, right, with a Peaceful Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2020]

Comparison of a male Diamond Dove with two Jacky Winters
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2019]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a Diamond Dove; given the inconspicuous eye-ring, this is probably a female
[Near Walgett, NSW, June 2012]

Frontal view of a resting female(?) Diamond Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2019]

Near-frontal view of a female Diamond Dove
[Near Walgett, NSW, June 2012]

Near-lateral view of a resting female Diamond Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2019]

Lateral view a female Diamond Dove - note the brownish back; this is the bird whose wing beats were recorded on 27 February 2020
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2020]

Lateral view of a female(?) Diamond Dove feeding on the edge of a gravel track
[Tiger Bay Wetlands, Warren, NSW, December 2016]

Dorsal view of a (probably female) Diamond Dove
[Near Narrabri, NSW, December 2008]

PAIR

Close-up view of a pair of Diamond Doves - male on the left, female on the right - note the male's more conspicuous orbital skin; males also tend to have more speckles and a greyer back (females tend to be more brownish)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2019]

Pair of Diamond Doves - male, left, cooing for her, right; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 5 April 2020
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]

Sex unknown

Lateral view of a Diamond Dove (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Boolardy Station, Murchison, WA, August 2016]

Lateral view of a Diamond Dove (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Near-dorsal view of a Diamond Dove (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, December 2012]

Diamond Dove on red soil
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2009]

3 Diamond Doves in the tropical North of Australia (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Marrakai track, NT, August 2013]

Diamond Doves, left and centre, with a Peaceful Dove
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2019]

Diamond Dove, right, with two Crested Pigeons
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2019]

Frontal view of a Diamond Dove in flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2019]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Dec Eggs: 2 Incubation period: ca. 13 days Fledging age: ca. 14 days

The breeding period listed above is a core period. As inland specialists, Diamond Doves can in principle breed any time of the year after good rainfall. Like most other doves and pigeons, they can have more than one clutch per year.

Nest building: Female & male Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Rudimentary basket Material: Sticks, twigs, rootlets Height above ground: 1 - ? m

Nest building: Male? Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Diamond Dove nest with one egg and one hatchling
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2020]

Diamond Dove nest hidden amongst the outer foliage of a Grevillea robusta
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]

Diamond Dove nest in a more open setting, with one egg inside
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]

Female Diamond Dove incubating
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 20 x 15 mm Colour: White Shape: Oval

Diamond Dove nest with a full complement of two eggs in it
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]

Second Diamond Dove nest with a full complement of two eggs in it; note that the egg on the left is still so fresh that it is yellowish, semi-translucent and soft-shelled
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]

Diamond Dove incubating on the second nest
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary/dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/family

Diamond Doves are not shy at all and will sometimes let people (and also cars) approach very closely. Being seed-eaters, Diamond Doves are often found foraging by the sides of Outback gravel or dirt roads.

Non-breeding Diamond Doves can form loose flocks; seen here are 6 out of about 20 in total
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2020]

Like other doves and pigeons, Diamond Doves like basking in the sun
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2019]

We have observed a Diamond Dove flapping its wings, either both or only one, while sitting in a tree, possibly for cooling blood vessels in near-40 degree heat (see photos below).

Diamond Dove flapping both wings...
[Near Louth, NSW, March 2008]

... or just one.
[Near Louth, NSW, March 2008]

Diamond Dove stunned from a run-in with a window pane
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]

The same Diamond Dove as shown above, only 9 seconds later - compare the colour of the orbital skin between the two shots
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2020]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

All pigeons and doves are strictly vegetarian. Diamond Doves are seed-eaters.

Diamond Dove taking a seed
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2020]

Diamond Dove feeding on the seeds of weeds in grassland
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

This male Diamond Dove and female Peaceful Dove were observed foraging together in grassland
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Male Diamond Dove (left) with two females, feeding on a dirt road
[Near Narran Lakes NR, NSW, March 2008]

Diamond Dove as an example of a general rule that we have noticed - when pecking at something, birds (at least seed-eaters) close their eyes
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2013]

Female Diamond Dove drinking water (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Innamincka Road, SA, October 2016]

Diamond Doves having a drink of water
[Killarney SCA, NSW, May 2020]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

diadove_20190207_3.m4a (NW NSW) Contact call(?) © MD
diadove_20190207_2.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls(?) © MD
diadove_20190203.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls(?) © MD
diadove_20200302_2.m4a (NW NSW) Contact call(?); pair Q&A © MD
diadove_20200413.m4a (NW NSW) Territorial call(?); male © MD
diadove_20200329_3.m4a (NW NSW) Male cooing (+ Peaceful Dove) © MD
diadove_20190207.m4a (NW NSW) Departure © MD
diadove_20200329_6.m4a (NW NSW) Various (male) © MD
diadove_20200405.m4a (NW NSW) Various (male) + female departure © MD
diadove_20200302.m4a (NW NSW) Various © MD

We have also been able to record the wing beats of a Diamond Dove.

diadove_20200227.m4a (NW NSW) Departure (female) © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.