Doves are much more than just those white birds often seen being released at religious gatherings and funerals. In fact, several species of doves are not white at all. Doves are among the over 300 species of birds belonging to the Columbidae family, which includes pigeons. So, there is no scientific differentiation between doves and pigeons.

In English, the smaller birds in the family are colloquially referred to as ‘doves’ while the larger, stockier birds are called ‘pigeons’. And that’s the end of the ‘differences’ between doves and pigeons.

Diamond and ring-neck doves are the two species most commonly kept as pets. They have a docile, affectionate nature that makes them good pets. Both species come in numerous color morphs as well. The snow-white bird that comes to mind when you think about doves is a white mutation of the ring-neck dove.

Types of Doves

Different Types of Doves

The most common species in this family, recognized as doves, are:

  • Ring-neck Dove
  • African Collared-Dove
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Caribbean Dove
  • Diamond Dove
  • Inca Dove
  • Mourning Dove
  • European Turtle Dove
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Spotted Dove
  • White-tipped Dove
  • White-winged Dove
  • Zenaida Dove
  • Common Ground Dove
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove
  • Black-winged Ground Dove
  • Blue Ground Dove
  • Key West Quail-Dove
  • Ruddy Quail-Dove
  • Blue-headed Quail-Dove
  • Pacific Emerald Dove
  • Luzon Bleeding Heart
  • Namaqua Dove
  • Black-billed Wood Dove
  • White-faced Cuckoo Dove
  • Great Cuckoo Dove
  • Rose-Crowned Fruit Dove
  • Cloven-feathered Dove
  • Eared Dove
  • Tambourine Dove
  • Whistling Dove
  • Laughing Doves
  • Pacific Dove
  • Peaceful Dove


What are the most common doves in North America?

The mourning doves are by far the most widespread doves in North America, with their distribution range including almost all of the United States and Canada. Other common species include the Eurasian collared dove, ring-neck dove, European turtle dove, and spotted dove.