Subspecies and Distribution:
- * papua Rand, 1938 - S New Guinea from Merauke E to Port Moresby; also Markham Valley and Madang and upper Ramu Valley. * placida Gould, 1844 - N & E Australia. * clelandi Mathews, 1912 - Pilbara region, NC Western Australia.
The bird is a relatively small pigeon and varies in length from 19 to 21 centimetres.
Habitat and Ecology
Peaceful doves are usually found in dry, open grasslands with some scrub vegetation which is used for cover. They are also found in Eucalyptus forests and in other dry, wooded areas. But like most Geopelia doves they prefer to have a source of water nearby. These doves can also be seen in villages and towns and in gardens and parks, and also in cultivated areas.
Feeds on small seeds of native grasses and weeds where the ground is bare in open spaces. The bird walks and runs about very quickly while feeding. Brown reports that insects are rarely eaten.
Life History and Behavior
Brown reports that breeding can occur any time during the year however breeding may be less frequent during dry periods and also during cold weather. The peaceful dove starts up to eight clutches in a season. The nest is a typical pigeon like loose construction of twigs built in a shrub or tree from two feet to thirty six feet above the ground. Two white eggs are laid and are incubated by both of the parents for 13 to 14 days. The babies leave the nest in 16 to 17 days.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida) is a pigeon native to Australia and New Guinea. It is closely related to the Zebra Dove of south-east Asia and the Barred Dove of eastern Indonesia. Until recently, the three were classed as a single species, Geopelia striata, known as Peaceful Dove or Zebra Dove.
The bird is a relatively small pigeon and varies in length from 19 to 21 centimetres (7.6 to 8.4 inches). The Peaceful Dove has a pink-grey breast with chequered grey-brown wings. Thin striations of black appear around the neck and nape area and descend down the back. The eye is greyish-white and a blue-grey ring surrounds the eye that tapers off and joins the beak/cere. The juveniles are paler and less striated. They also have a duller eye ring. The nape is similar to that of the Bar-shouldered dove in that the nape feathers are striated but differs in that the Bar-shouldered dove does not have striated throat feathers like the Peaceful Dove. Furthermore, the nape feathers are grey-brown in colour compared to the vivid copper colour seen with Bar-shouldered doves.
Calls of the Peaceful Dove are high-pitched "doodle-doo", "co-co-coo" and "croorrr!".
The Peaceful Dove is found in pairs, groups and flocks. They feed off the ground and are found commonly in streets and gardens. They also are found in scrublands, woodlands, watercourses, railyards and on the edge of rainforests. When not found on the ground feeding, they can found in trees roosting.
The doves fly in a rapid, undulating motion. The wings make a flushing "frrr" noise when the birds are in flight.
Breeding occurs from October to January in southern Australia and from March to June in northern Australia. Nests are built on horizontal branches of trees. Two white eggs are laid. The doves are very aggressive to other birds when breeding.
They can be found all over Australia except Tasmania, southern Victoria and south western Australia (from the Pilbara, Western Australia to the Nullarbor, South Australia). Unfortunately, the doves' range is reducing due to competition with the introduced Spotted Turtle Dove. In New Guinea they are mainly found in the south of the island but also occur at a few sites in the north and on the Aru Islands.
- Coates and Peckover (2001), Birds of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago: a photographic guide, Dove Publications, ISBN 0-9590257-4-X
- Pizzey and Knight, Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Angus & Robertson, ISBN 0-207-19691-5
- Trounsen and Trounsen, Australian Birds: A Concise Photographic Field Guide, Cameron House. ISBN 1-875999-47-7.