Species group: Exotic Doves and Pigeons
Other common names: Eastern Spotted Dove, Spotted Turtle Dove, Chinese Spotted Dove
Scientific name: Spilopelia chinensis
The Spotted Dove is a tough, adaptable exotic dove from Asia closely related to the Senegal or Laughing Dove, Spilopelia senegalensis. Although it's a trouble-free aviary bird as long as there are no competing doves in the exhibit, these birds may be escape artists who tend to become easily established, so they may be viewed as an undesirable invasive species in some areas. There are reports that they are hostile to native Mourning Doves where they have been introduced to Los Angeles.
The Spotted Dove is well-named, since it can be quickly identified by the black badge covered with white spots on the back of its neck.
158 grams (5.6 oz.)
28 - 32 centimeters (11 - 13 in.)
5 - 10 years
Behavior / temperament:
Spotted Doves can be bold, delightful birds that shows well, because they're not particularly shy.While they may be a good aviary companion for non-competing species, pairs can become aggressive to other doves during the breeding season. Have one individual or one pair to a flight. Single pets can learn to fly to you for food and attention.
A single pet or a pair of Spotted Doves can do very well indoors, but they do need space and an easily cleaned environment. They exercise by flying and by hopping on the ground, so allow for a nice wide area – a good minimum size for the flight might be 36” in length, 24” wide, and 24” tall. Single pets are friendly and look forward to being around family members, so do not isolate them. Some birds can be insistent about cooing for attention if they know you're elsewhere in the house.
The Spotted Dove was displayed in European zoos starting in the mid-1800s. Like other doves that bred freely in captivity even before the introduction of modern diets, it's a pretty easy dove to feed, even for beginners. Choose a high quality dove or budgerigar/parakeet mix. But you also need to provide some variety – chopped fruits and vegetables, greens, pellets (perhaps sprinkled with apple juice), and even access to a few live insects can be a good source of vitamins, minerals, and macro-nutrients. All doves need access to grit and calcium.
Written by Elaine Radford