Laughing Dove

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

Little Brown Dove, Senegal Dove, Laughing Turtle-Dove

Native Habitat

Woodland, Scrubland


Seeds, Grains


Laughing Dove

Spilopelia senegalensis

The Laughing Dove is a small pigeon which is a resident breeding bird in the tropics in Africa south of the Sahara, the Middle East and southern Asia east to India. Probably as the result of stowaways from Africa or India, the bird is also found in a localised area of Western Australia.

The Laughing Dove is a long-tailed, slim pigeon, typically 25 cm in length. Its back, wings and tail are reddish-brown with blue-grey in the wings. In flight, the underwings are rich chestnut.

The head and underparts are pinkish, shading to whitish on the lower abdomen. There is black spotting on the throat. The legs are red. Juveniles are more rufous than adults, and have reduced throat spotting.

It is a common and widespread species in scrub, dry farmland and habitation over a good deal of its range, often becoming very tame.

This species builds a stick nest in a tree and lays two white eggs. Its flight is quick, with the regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings which are characteristic of pigeons in general.

Laughing Doves eat grass, seeds, grains, other vegetation and small insects. They are fairly terrestrial, foraging on the ground in grasslands and cultivation. They are not particularly gregarious, and are usually alone, or in pairs.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    খুদে ঘুঘু
  • Gujarati:
  • Hindi:
    छोटा फाख्ता
  • Kannada:
    ಕಂದು ಬೆಳವ
  • Malayalam:
    തവിടൻ പ്രാവ്
  • Marathi:
    तपकिरी होला, व्हलगड, छोटी कवडी, भोरी
  • Nepali:
    धुसर ढुकुर
  • Tamil:
    கள்ளிப்புறா, சிரிக்கும் புறா
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Spilopelia senegalensis