The Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata), the world's second smallest dove (the New World Common Ground Dove, Columbina passerina, is slightly smaller), is a tiny, delicate dove with a pointed tail. Diamond Doves are found in arid interior Australia. They are largely absent from southwestern Western Australia and coastal eastern Queensland south to Victoria and west to South Australia. They occur in lightly wooded arid or semi-arid grasslands with a reliable water source in the vicinity and are often seen along roads.
Diamond Doves are almost entirely granivorous (although they consume small quantities of leaves and insects), often feeding on tiny seeds, depending especially on grasses and legumes (Fabaceae). They forage exclusively on the ground, typically in flocks of 20 to 30 birds. Diamond Doves may wander great distances to track available food or water.
Diamond Doves are common throughout much of their extensive range, occupying one of the less threatened habitat types in Australia and often inhabiting regions not heavily impacted by humans.
(Schleucher et al. 1991; Baptista et al. 1997 and references therein)
- Baptista, L.F., P.W. Trail, and H.M. Horblit. 1997. Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata). P. 157 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J., eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- Schleucher, E., R. Prinzinger, and P.C. Withers. 1991. Life in Extreme Environments: Investigations on the Ecophysiology of a Desert Bird, the Australian Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata Latham). Oecologia 88(1): 72-76.
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