Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Streptopelia chinensis (Scopoli, 1786)

Species:S. chinensis
Common Names:Spotted Dove
Status:Common resident


Found throughout Singapore and its offshore islands.

General Biology

It is generally believed that pigeons and doves do not bathe in the conventional manner of other birds - dipping into the water and splashing about. Instead they rub themselves against wet foliage. But an adult was seen actually bathing, sitting in a puddle of water and shaking itself to get the water onto its feathers. Another instance is reported HEREOnce well soaked, it would move off to sunbath by sitting down with wings outstretched and tail feathers spread, followed by preening its feathers.

Intelligence feeding from a feeder was encountered when the doves flew onto the base of the bottle filled with bird seeds to shake the seeds out from the basal holes onto the base. This they did time and again, either from a nearby branch or simply flying upwards and landing on the base.

A video of a dove feeding grit is shown HERE. These sand grains are needed in the gizzard to help grind up the hard seeds.

Predators include crows ...

Doves have the ability to shed its tail feathers to escape predators. At the same time they shed their semiplumes from the belly if handled. The sudden explosion of these feathers will invariably take predators by surprise and in the process allow the dove to escape - see HERE and HERE.


Seeds of Crepe Ginger (Cheilocostus speciosus, also known as Costus speciosus), Papaya (Carica papaya)...

Life Cycle

Courtship involves courtship feeding, matingduetting with both birds sitting together in a tree hidden by foliage, checking a potential nesting site before building the nest. One adult sources out nesting material and brings it to the other who will insert it into the incomplete nest. Nests are lodged in trees and even in potted plants

Usually two eggs are laid ...

A failed nesting was documented when the days old chick was predated, probably by a squirrel - see HERE.


Wang, L. K., 2011. Pigeons. Pp. 414. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L. K. & C. J. Hails, 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179.

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