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Spotted Dove - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Eastern Spotted Dove

Chinese Spotted Dove S. c. chinensis
Photo by anonymous_guy
Lamma Island, Hong Kong
Streptopelia chinensis

Spilopelia chinensis


Length 27·5–30 cm (10¾-11¾ in), weight 120-130 g

  • Pale brown back, wings and tail, heavily spotted with buff
  • Blackish flight feathers bordered on the inner edge with pale grey
  • Pink head and underparts
  • Pale grey face and lower belly
  • Black neck patch finely spotted with white
  • Red legs

Sexes are similar
Juveniles are duller than adults often lacking the patchy neckband when very immature.

Photo by Alan R
Singapore, March 2007


Southern Asia from Nepal, India and Sri Lanka east to south China and Southeast Asia.

It has been introduced to Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, several Pacific Ocean islands, and parts of the United States (abundant in Hawaii, local in California).


This species has recently been transferred, with its closest relative the Laughing Dove, to the genus Spilopelia by several authorities following the studies of Johnson et al. (2001)[1][2][3].


Indian Spotted Dove S. c. suratensis
Photo: ragoorao
Mysore, India; 18 October 2010

Three subspecies are recognised:[4]

  • S. c. suratensis:

Some suggest that S. c. suratensis may be better treated as a distinct species[5]; it differs in much more strongly marked wing coverts.


Open woodland, farmland and habitation.


They are fairly terrestrial, foraging on the ground in grasslands and cultivation.

S. c. suratensis, courting pair
Photo: Alok Tewari
Hill Station Kasauli, Alt. 1927 metres, Himachal Pradesh, India, June-2013


They breed throughout the year. Their round with stick nests are found in trees, edge of buildings or on the ground. The clutch consists of 2 glossy white eggs.


The diet is not too well recorded but is known to include grass and herb seeds, grains and small fruit.


Call: a repeated sequence of coos

Listen in an external program

Recording by Alok Tewari
Rishikesh, Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, August-2017
One individual giving two types of calls. Recorded in late afternoon. Occasional calls by Purple Sunbird and Common Myna.


  1. Johnson, K. P. et al. (2001). A molecular phylogeny of the dove genera Streptopelia and Columba. The Auk 118 (4): 874–887.
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2015)
  4. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  5. 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

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