The African Collared Dove belongs to the scientific classification Streptopelia roseogrisea and is a small dove native to the dry lands of Africa and Arabia, though it is also known to inhabit areas close to water. It has been introduced to other parts of the world without great success, including New Zealand and the United States.
Areas in which the African Collared Dove thrives include the following countries in Africa and the Middle East:
There are a number of varieties of doves throughout the world, including the Barbary Dove. It is thought to be a descendant of the African Collared Dove, though it has been domesticated while the African Collared Dove remains a wild bird. Its call is a soft, rolling coo that is similar to the sounds emitted by all dove species.
The body of the African Collared Dove is light brown and pale gray. The feathers on the wings are darker in colour, while the head, neck, chest and underbelly are typically shades of pink and white. A black ring generally encircles all or part of the bird’s neck, its eyes are a dark red and it has orange legs and claws.
Its small head bobs back and forth as it walks and taking flight can be a noisy process because of the flapping of its thick wings. Variances in the appearance of the African Collared Dove and its colours may be due to the fact that it can mate with the Barbary Dove.
It ranges from 26-30 cm in size with a wingspan of approximately 50 cm and an average weight of 140-160 gm. It can fly at speeds of 55-80 km/h. The wild African Collared Dove is typically smaller in size than other doves including the Barbary Dove.
This bird forages on the ground for berries and seeds and often makes its home close to a water source. Its nest is generally in a low-hanging tree or bush and is made of twigs. There are several threats to the well-being and longevity of the African Collared Dove including the destruction of its natural habitat due to deforestation and the human act of hunting.
In its nest the female African Collared Dove lays two white eggs that hatch approximately two weeks after they are laid. The male and female doves care for the small, down-covered hatchlings until they are ready to fledge, which takes place a few weeks later. This type of bird has a life expectancy of 10-15 years. Its domesticated descendants such as the Barbary Dove may live twice as long, as its living conditions are generally safer and more stable.