The spotted dove

Writer: Isaac Cohen  |  Editor: Liu Minxia  |  From: Shenzhen Daily

A spotted dove rests on a stump at Tianhou Palace, Nanshan District in this Feb. 7, 2021 photo.

The spotted dove

Among the most ubiquitous birds of Shenzhen, probably belonging to one of the most well-known bird species in the world, is the spotted dove (Streptopelia chinensis). This absolute beauty is a must-see in our city.

深圳最常见的鸟,可能也是世界上最出名的鸟类之一就是珠颈斑鸠(Streptopelia chinensis),这绝美的鸟儿在深圳不容错过。

The spotted dove has a grayish head that transitions into a distinctive broad black collar with fascinating white spots covering the neck, except on the chest side. The color of the body is a beautiful blend of pale pink and gray, while the wings are of a darker gray that becomes brown as it gets closer to the black tips.


A spotted dove rests on a flower pot at the mangrove ecological park in Futian District in this file photo.

This beautiful bird reaches a length of approximately 32 cm long, with a reasonably long tail and a 40-centimeter-long wingspan that, when spread open, lets us see how majestic they can be.


Spotted doves prefer foraging the ground in search of seeds, buds, grains, or occasionally human leftovers, so it is very common to find them in parks around people. However, in Shenzhen, most of them show very reserved behavior and are easily driven away by the presence of humans.


A spotted dove rests on a branch at the OCT Wetland in Nanshan District in this file photo.

During their breeding season, which is almost all year round but with a slight preference for warmer months, they can lay up to three eggs per clutch that will be incubated by both parents for a period of two and a half weeks. Both parents tend to the young during a 10-day feeding period.


A spotted dove is seen at the Shenzhen Bay Park in this file photo.

This dove species have been intentionally introduced to different countries due to its beauty, and in some places, it is raised on fowl farms to be consumed as a delicate dish. In any case, spotted doves are an essential part of our local urban ecosystem, and we must continue working for their preservation in our beloved city.


(Translator: Zhang Wenxin 翻译:张温馨)