Bird Families

Bird Owner's Encyclopedia


Order Pigeon-like - Columbiformes

Family Pigeons - Columbidae

One of the smallest representatives of the pigeon order. Endemic to Central, Northern and Western Australia. Inhabits mainly open spaces - dry grassy plains with bushes and detached trees, not far from the reservoir.

They feed on grass seeds and ants.

Birds keep in pairs or small flocks.

They nest low in trees.

There are 2 eggs in a clutch, which both partners incubate for 13 days.

Lives in captivity for 10 years or more.

In the 20s of the last century, they were brought to Europe, where they became very popular with poultry farmers. Now this bird is considered domesticated.

Diamond turtle doves

What image appears before your eyes when you hear the word "dove"? Most likely, you will imagine a flock of gray birds in the city square. Someone will see a dovecote with birds flying high above it as a memory from childhood.

All the more surprising is the first meeting with a diamond dove - a small pigeon native to Australia. You don't expect a pigeon to be the size of a sparrow and be so charming.

There are no bright colors in the plumage of the diamond turtledove. The coloration ranges from olive brown to white with different color variations. On the wings there are numerous white spots, which gave the name to the turtle dove. Around the eye there is a ring of unfeathered orange skin. By this ring, you can distinguish the male from the female: in males, it is wider. The elongated tail adds to the spectacular appearance of these birds.

The sound signals of the diamond turtledoves are similar to the signals of the pigeons we are used to, but with well-pronounced minor notes.

Like all pigeons, diamond turtle doves fly great. For this reason, they need a rectangular cage with a length of at least 80 cm. Turtle doves in an aviary will feel good.

Do not forget that turtledoves receive a lot of sunshine in their homeland. Therefore, it is better to place the cage so that the sun's rays fall on it for several hours a day (while there should be a shaded place in the cage). You can use special lamps with a spectrum close to sunlight. This is especially important when birds are preparing for breeding.

The diet of turtle doves is based on various types of millet (both cultivated and wild). Ready-made mixes for exotic birds work well as well. The beak of the turtle doves cannot clear the grain from the shell, and the birds swallow it whole. For this reason, turtle doves need to finely chop green food: lettuce, dandelion, wood lice.

Birds that are at least one year old are allowed to breed, although turtle doves mature earlier. About a month and a half before the start of breeding, sprouted grain can be introduced into the diet of birds. Pairing is generally straightforward. The male pursues the female, performing a "dance" in front of her with bows and demonstration of a loose tail, vaguely reminiscent of a peacock's tail. As a nest, you can use an open box measuring 15 x 15 cm with a side height of 4-6 cm. Turtle-doves will put the proposed nesting material into it (blades of grass, threads). A standard canary socket can be used.

If the female is supportive of the male, two eggs will soon appear in the nest. Due to the peculiarities of the feeding process, the pair cannot raise more than two chicks. Both parents incubate the clutch in turn (and sometimes together) for about two weeks. Together they also warm and feed the chicks. The latter are growing rapidly. After 10-11 days, they already leave the nest. Chicks at this time are about half the size of their parents, they themselves do not know how to eat. The male feeds them for about two more weeks. The female is preparing for the next clutch. No need to allow more than three clutches per season.

Matured males begin to show aggression towards rivals. Therefore, it is better to keep adult males one at a time. Outside the breeding season, males and females are also best kept separately. At this time, females can be kept in a group.

Currently, there are more than twenty color options for diamond turtledoves.

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