The diamond doves are one of the smallest pigeon species found in Australia. Although both the sexes look exactly similar, the females have a slightly brownish-gray plumage and less thick eye ring as compared to the males, which have a silvery-gray plumage.
|Scientific Name||Geopelia cuneata|
|Other Names||Little dove, little turtle dove|
|Size||19-21 cm (7.5-8.3 inches) in length|
|Weight||23-32 g (0.8-1.13 oz)|
|Color||Gray-colored head, neck, breast, and bill; orange or reddish rings around the eyes; creamy colored abdomen; brown-gray back and tail; white spots on wings with black edges|
|Distribution||Deserts in central and northern parts of Australia; occasionally migrate to the eastern and southern coasts|
|Habitat||Open terrains like sparsely wooded regions and grasslands close to water bodies|
|Sounds||Two long coos, after which a pause, followed by one long, short, and eventually one long coo|
|Incubation period||13-14 days|
|Lifespan||15-25 years in captivity, 3-5 years in wild|
|Diet||Different kinds of seeds, including grass seed, as well as small insects like ants|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
Apart from the blue and silver varieties, several other color variations of diamond doves have been created in captivity, including the peach, rufous, yellow, snow white, red, pied, cinnamon, and many more.
This species can be raised or kept well in captivity. Easy to pair and handle, diamond doves are suitable for beginning hobbyists and bird lovers.
Although these small birds are kept in aviaries, a large cage having 0.4 inches of bar spacing can be used. Since they prefer to remain on the ground flapping their wings frequently, choose a long and wide cage with a minimum size of 18 inch X 18 inch. Keeping the floor of aviaries and cages clean and free from unwanted accessories will provide the birds enough space for walking and fluttering their wings. Place some natural or softwood perches in the cage to provide them with ideal roosting spots.
A top-open nest basket, lined with nesting materials like wool, grass, and twigs, kept in the cage will allow these doves to lay their eggs.
Diamond doves cannot withstand severely cold temperatures. Therefore, providing a heat source such as a basking rock or heating pad is a good option for the doves.
They make good pets for their gentle and friendly personality. Being tolerant and peaceful, they can be kept in mixed aviaries with small birds like canaries and finches. However, keeping them with larger and aggressive birds can be harmful. These sociable creatures do not bite when handled or hand-fed by their owners, rather they show their affection with light pecks.
Their diet should consist of quality seed mixes, soft fruits, and greens that are full of vitamins, minerals, and calcium. Supplementing their diet with grit, cuttlebone, and spray millet also gives them necessary nutrients. During breeding time, provide the bird with some egg food to take care of its protein requirements.
Keep a bathing dish full of fresh, clean water on the cage floor to allow the dove stay clean and healthy. Provide your pet a hygienic environment to live in, by using a proper disinfectant to clean its enclosure.
Diamond doves may contract some common ailments including pigeon pox, parrot fever, salmonellosis, and infections caused by parasitic worms. A dove in poor health usually exhibits specific symptoms such as a protruding breastbone, fluffed feathers, slimy droppings, abnormal quietness, balance problems and nodding of the head. If your pet bird has any of these symptoms, talk to a vet immediately.
A diamond dove costs around $55.
- If paired in cages, they are often seen cuddling and pecking each other lightly around the head and neck while shaking their wings, displaying love and affection for each other.
- These doves in captivity can imitate calls and noises made by humans.
- A series of short, loud coos, in the form of an alarm call, are produced by them at the time of danger.
- The young diamond doves lack the characteristic white spots on the wings.