Feral Pigeons in Krakow, Poland Nestlings and mother Mourning DoveNicobar Pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica).
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The doves are the 308 species of near passerine birds in the order Columbiformes. The terms dove and pigeon are used interchangeably, although smaller species are more likely to be called doves. more...

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The species commonly referred to just as the "pigeon" is the feral Rock Dove.

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.

The poorly constructed nests are made of sticks, and the two white eggs are incubated by both sexes. Doves feed on seeds, fruit and other soft plantstuffs. Unlike most other birds, (but see flamingo), the doves and pigeons produce "crop milk", which is secreted by a sloughing of fluid-filled cells from the lining of the crop. Both sexes produce this highly nutritious substance to feed to the young.

This family occurs worldwide, but the greatest variety is in the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones. It is related to the extinct dodos. The young doves and pigeons are called 'squabs'. A person who keeps pigeons is called a 'pigeon fancier'.


White doves are a traditional symbol of love and peace. A dove was supposed to have been released by Noah after the flood in order to find land; it came back carrying an olive branch, telling Noah that, somewhere, there was land. A dove with an olive branch has since then come to symbolize peace. In Christian iconography, a dove also symbolizes the Holy Spirit, in reference to Matthew 3:16 and Luke 3:22 where the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove at the Baptism of Jesus.

Doves or other birds are often released at weddings. It should be noted that these birds, unless they are trained homing pigeons, cannot survive in the wild and will either starve to death or be easy prey for predators.

In politics the name "dove" is sometimes applied to figures who favour peaceful solutions to problems as opposed to "hawks", who favour aggressive action.

Classification & species list

The family is usually divided into five subfamilies, as follows; genus order here follows Handbook of the Birds of the World (Lynx, 1997):

Subfamily Columbinae - typical pigeons & doves

Genus Columba Typical pigeons

  • Rock Dove or feral pigeon, Columba livia
  • Stock Dove Columba oenas
  • Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz
  • Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii
  • Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae
  • White-crowned Pigeon Columba leucocephala
  • Red-billed Pigeon Columba flavirostris
  • Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata
  • Hill Pigeon, Columba rupestris
  • Snow Pigeon, Columba leuconota
  • Speckled Pigeon, Columba guinea
  • White-collared Pigeon, Columba albitorques
  • Pale-backed Pigeon, Columba eversmanni
  • Somali Pigeon, Columba oliviae
  • Wood Pigeon, Columba palumbus
  • Afep Pigeon, Columba unicincta
  • African Olive Pigeon, Columba arquatrix
  • Cameroon Olive Pigeon, Columba sjostedti
  • Sao Tome Olive Pigeon, Columba thomensis
  • Comoro Olive Pigeon, Columba polleni
  • Speckled Woodpigeon, Columba hodgsonii
  • White-naped Pigeon, Columba albinucha
  • Ashy Woodpigeon, Columba pulchricollis
  • Nilgiri Woodpigeon, Columba elphinstonii
  • Sri Lanka Woodpigeon, Columba torringtoni
  • Pale-capped Pigeon, Columba punicea
  • Silvery Pigeon, Columba argentina
  • Andaman Woodpigeon, Columba palumboides
  • Japanese Woodpigeon, Columba janthina
  • Metallic Pigeon or White-throated Pigeon, Columba vitiensis
  • White-headed Pigeon, Columba leucomela
  • Yellow-legged Pigeon, Columba pallidiceps
  • White-crowned Pigeon, Columba leucocephala
  • Scaly-naped Pigeon, Columba squamosa
  • Scaled Pigeon, Columba speciosa
  • Picazuro Pigeon, Columba picazuro
  • Bare-eyed Pigeon, Columba corensis
  • Spot-winged Pigeon, Columba maculosa
  • Band-tailed Pigeon, Columba fasciata
  • Chilean Pigeon, Columba araucana
  • Ring-tailed Pigeon, Columba caribaea
  • Pale-vented Pigeon, Columba cayennensis
  • Red-billed Pigeon, Columba flavirostris
  • Peruvian Pigeon, Columba oenops
  • Plain Pigeon, Columba inornata
  • Plumbeous Pigeon, Columba plumbea
  • Ruddy Pigeon, Columba subvinacea
  • Short-billed Pigeon, Columba nigrirostris
  • Dusky Pigeon, Columba goodsoni
  • Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Columba delegorguei
  • Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Columba iriditorques
  • Sao Tome Bronze-naped Pigeon, Columba malherbii
  • African Lemon-dove, Columba larvata
  • Sao Tome Lemon-dove, Columba simplex

Genus Streptopelia

  • Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
  • Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  • Barbary Dove Streptopelia risoria (domesticated; taxonomic status doubtful)
  • African Collared Dove, Streptopelia roseogrisea
  • Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis
  • Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
  • Oriental Turtle Dove Streptopelia orientalis
  • Dusky Turtle Dove, Streptopelia lugens
  • Adamawa Turtle Dove, Streptopelia hypopyrrha
  • Pink Pigeon, Streptopelia mayeri
  • Island Collared Dove, Streptopelia bitorquata
  • White-winged Collared Dove, Streptopelia reichenowi
  • African Mourning Dove, Streptopelia decipiens
  • Red-eyed Dove, Streptopelia semitorquata
  • Ring-necked Dove, Streptopelia capicola
  • Vinaceous Dove, Streptopelia vinacea
  • Red Turtle Dove, Streptopelia tranquebarica
  • Madagascar Turtle Dove, Streptopelia picturata

Genus Macropygia

Read more at Wikipedia.org

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