Laughing Dove

Did you know?

The common name is derived from the laughing character of the call while the specific component of the scientific name (senegalensis) has reference to the country, Senegal, where the bird originally described was caught.

Advertising call is a soft, bubbling cu-cu, cu-oo or crucu-cu-cucoo. The birds also give a more hurried display call.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
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Breeding season: 
All year round
Clutch Size: 
16 days
Nestling Period: 
21 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Laughing Dove is a smallish dove The head and back are pinky-brown, the wings blue-grey and the belly whitish. There is a small white patch on the chin and long white tips on the outer tail feathers. To identifyh the Laughing Dove look for the blue-grey wings and a brown band across the lower fore-neck that is spotted with black. This band is lacking in juvenile birds which are generally a pale fawn but have the distinctive grey wings. It is also known as the Laughing Turtle-Dove.

Similar species: 

Spotted Dove (previously Spotted Turtle-Dove) S. chinensis is somewhat larger and has a distinctive black collar spotted white on the hind-neck. Barbary Dove S. roseogrisea is just a little larger, is creamy-buff in colour and has a thin black collar around the hind-neck.

Where does it live?

The nominate sub-species of Laughing Dove was introduced to south-west Western Australia from sub-sahara Africa in the late 1890s and has become well established in generally urban areas close to Perth and surrounding towns. Other sub-species occur in the middle-east and in India.


Generally present in urban areas and can be seen in parks, gardens, streets and railways. They are often seen calling from electricity wires in suburban environments. Laughing Doves rarely penetrate into surrounding bushland.

Seasonal movements: 

Laughing Doves are generally sedentary occupying territories throughout the year.

What does it do?

Laughing Doves feed on grain, seeds from garden plants and weeds, and bread scraps. The birds typically feed on the ground and can be seen gathered at food sources such as spilt grain beside roads.


Studies in Perth suggest that Laughing Doves breed throughout the year with peak breeding periods in spring and autumn. A fragile nest platform of twigs, leaves and grasses is constructed in trees or on buildings and other structures. Males make display flights similar to the Spotted Dove S. chinensis. 2 white eggs are laid and both sexes participate in incubation.

Living with us

Typically Laughing Doves live in urban areas and are tame and confiding

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