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Laughing Dove - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Palm Dove

Courting pair, S. s. cambayensis
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India, March-2019
Spilopelia senegalensis

Streptopelia senegalensis


27 cm (10½ in), weight 70-90 g

  • Reddish-brown back, wings and tail
  • Blue-grey in the wings
  • Pink head and underparts, shading to whitish on the lower abdomen
  • Black spots on the throat
  • Red legs


S. s. senegalensis
Photo © by scottishdude
Gambia, March 2010

Widespread in Africa except for the driest parts of the Sahara Desert and the wetter rainforests; also through the Middle East and southern Asia east to India.

Introduced to Australia. Some sources also suggest that some populations in the Middle East (e.g. Israel, and around Istanbul in Turkey) are also introduced[1].


This species has recently been transferred, with its closest relative the Spotted Dove, to the genus Spilopelia by several authorities following the studies of Johnson et al. (2001)[2], [3].


Photo © by Dr JP Menon
Coimbatore, South India, 7 April 2020

This is a polytypic species, consisting of five or six subspecies[3], [4]:

  • S. s. phoenicophila :
  • S. s. aegyptiaca:
  • Nile Valley (Suez Canal and Nile Delta south to Wadi Halfa)
  • S. s. sokotrae:
  • Socotra off north-east Somalia (included in S. s. senegalensis by IOC[3])
  • S. s. senegalensis:
  • S. s. cambayensis:
  • S. s. ermanni:


Scrub, dry farmland and habitation; a common urban bird in many parts of its range.



It builds a stick nest in a tree and lays two white eggs.


Diet consists of mostly of small seeds but some subspecies also eat sunflower and maize grain. Fruit is also taken in addition to some vegetation and small insects.


Recording by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, India, July-2016
Call by one individual sitting on a bough.


  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 1997. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4: Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334221
  2. Johnson, K. P. et al. (2001). A molecular phylogeny of the dove genera Streptopelia and Columba. The Auk 118 (4): 874–887.
  3. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2021. IOC World Bird List (v 11.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.11.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  4. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  5. AvianWeb

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1