Diamond Dove

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Is the Diamond Dove right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Little Turtledove; Little Red-eyed Dove

Scientific name: Geopelia cuneata

The basics:
The tiny, big-eyed Diamond Dove is one of the most popular species for aviary owners, including beginners setting up their first mixed-species aviary. Like many other popular pet birds of Australian origin, it is a hardy, reliable breeder. Indeed, in the United States, it has been captive-bred for so many generations that some people consider it a domesticated species. It is also a popular choice in its native land.

In the wild, this Australian endemic species prefers the more arid, open regions of that continent. They do gather near water, and they are triggered to breed by rainfall.

The natural wild form of the Diamond Dove is a tiny, grayish bird dotted with white on the wings – the so-called diamonds. The red eyes are surrounded by a fleshy circle of reddish-orange that gives this species a cute, wide-eyed appearance. The female's eye-ring is smaller, and her plumage duller. Breeders have also developed a number of lovely color mutations, including white, yellow, silver, cinnamon, and more.

28 - 40 grams (1 - 1.4 oz.)

Average size:
18 - 22 centimeters (7 - 8.7 in.)

10 - 15 years

Behavior / temperament:
Because of their gentle nature, Diamond Doves are often added to a mixed species planted aviary. They are unlikely to harass other species, although they might chase each other if they don't have sufficient room and desirable nest spots. The problem is that the other species can harass the Diamond Doves. Keep an eye on the situation, and never allow breeding finches to bully these gentle creatures. Breeders have observed finches trying to take Diamond Dove tail feathers for their own nests.

A single pet enjoys spending a lot of time around you. The social Diamond Dove should never be isolated. Make your bird a part of the family. Some males may persistently coo and bow to court you. If you can't spend much time with your Diamond Dove, then you need to provide it with a playmate. Two males will sometimes fight or feather-pluck, but two females should work out well. If you end up with a pair and do not wish to breed them, remove the eggs and replace them with artificial eggs that never hatch. Otherwise, the female may try to replace the missing eggs by laying more, ultimately exhausting her small body of nutrients.

The adaptable, easy-going Diamond Dove has been successfully kept and bred in cages as well as aviaries. Indeed, cage-breeding will become a necessity if you decide to pursue the challenge of breeding the color mutations. They do like to spend a lot of time on the ground, so design your cage or aviary with ease of cleaning the floor in the forefront of your mind. A single pet who follows you around indoors may often be at your feet or chasing your toes, so know where your bird is at all times to avoid stepping on it by accident. A single pet or pair can be maintained in a cage 3' by 2' by 2' although a more generous flight is always better if you're asking them to share with another species, such as a pair of finches. Tiny doves are considered a tasty prey, so be certain that your outdoor aviary is secure from predators, and have a double door to discourage escapes.

The Diamond Dove is an easy bird to feed for the person who has some experience with finches, perhaps the reason that many finch breeders ultimately consider adding a pair of these doves to their aviary. The backbone of the diet is a good quality finch seed mix, but you should add some small game bird or quail pellets, millet sprays, eggfood, and greens like chickweed and sprouted millet sprays. All doves should have access to clean grit. They may bathe in water, so supply a shallow pan of bathing water as well as drinking water. These sun-loving birds may require vitamin D3 added to the diet if kept indoors, since this vitamin is normally formed in the body in response to sunlight. Ask your breeder or avian vet for a recommendation.

Written by Elaine Radford


mutation colors, avairy setting, Soothing Birds, peaceful doves, easy doves, great beginner bird


constantly clean cages, late night cooing


good breeders, different coos, low flight cage, ground feeders

Helpful Diamond Dove Review

Diamond Dove

From reinier1 May 12 2015 5:50AM


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