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Black-billed Wood Dove - BirdForum Opus

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Alternative names: Black-billed Blue-spotted Wood Dove; Abyssinian Wood Dove

Photo by Steve G
Makasutu forest, the Gambia
Turtur abyssinicus


20 cm (7¾ in)

  • Whitish forehead
  • Bluish grey crown and nape
  • Pale grey brown hindneck, mantle, scapulars wing shields and upper back
  • Wing shields have dark metallic blue patches
  • Back and mantle is separated from the paler rump and uppertail coverts by two blackish bands enclosing a pale whitish fawn area
  • Grey pink breast, chest, belly and flanks
  • Longest undertail coverts black, others are white
  • Dark brown eyes
  • Black stripe from front of eye to bill

Sexes similar
Juvenile - barred buff/rust plumage

Similar Species

Distinguished from the similar Blue-spotted Wood-Dove by its uniform black bill with a black loral line, grey body plumage with a faint blue head-cap and a few large black (not blue) spots on the wing coverts.


Southern Mauritania and Senegambia east to Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, northern Cameroon, northern Central African Republic to Ethiopia, Eritrea, northern Uganda and north-east Kenya.


This is a monotypic species.[1]


Arid, semi-arid and open savanna woodlands and scrub close to wells, ponds and marshes.



The two dark cream buff to brownish cream eggs are incubated for 13-15 days; the young fledging 15 to 17 days later.


The diet includes grass and other small seeds.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. International Dove Society

Recommended Citation

External Links