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Spotted Dove

Streptopelia chinensis

Length: 12 inches Wingspan: 21 inches Seasonality: Non-resident in South Dakota
ID Keys: Black nape with white spots, dark brown scaly back, warm ruddy color overall, gray head

Spotted Dove - Spilopelia chinensisThe Spotted Dove is a bird that is native to south Asia.  They were introduced in the Los Angeles area of California in 1917, and have become established, with a range that has slowly expanded to include a small part of southern California.  The species has also been introduced in other parts of the world, including Australia and New Zealand. They are a species that has become well adapted to a human presence in North America, as they are most often found in suburban settings, where they can be common visitors to suburban feeders.


In their small range in North America, they are most often found in suburban settings, areas with landscaping and large lawns.  They can also be found in agricultural areas and riparian areas.


Feeds mostly on seeds.


Forages by walking on the ground and searching for seeds.


The nest of a Spotted Dove is a platform of twigs, placed in a tree or a tall shrub, sometimes quite high from the ground. The female lays 2 eggs, and both parents help to incubate them.  When the eggs hatch, both parents help to feed and raise the young.


The song of a Spotted Dove is a strong, rolling cooing, often with a harsher tone in the middle.

Click here to hear the cooing call of a Spotted Dove1


Considered a permanent resident in their small North American range.  They are also considered non-migratory in their native Asian range.

Interactive eBird map:

Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Spotted Dove sightings

Similar Species:

If seen well, the black neck with white spots is distinctive.  In their small established range in the United States, they are similar in size to some other dove species:

Mourning Dove - Zenaida macroura Mourning Dove 15 - Zenaida macroura White-winged Dove 1 - Zenaida asiatica White-winged Dove 5 - Zenaida asiatica
Mourning Dove Mourning Dove White-winged Dove White-winged Dove


Will attend feeders for various seeds.

Conservation Status:

Spotted Dove are very well adapted to a human presence, and unlike other species, they actually are expanding as natural habitats are disturbed by human activity. Overall populations are widespread, and they are very common in many parts of their range.  The IUCN lists the Spotted Dove as a species of "Least Concern".

Further Information:

Photo Information:

Photo take on June 12th, 2019 at Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia - Terry Sohl

Audio File Credits:

Click below for a higher-resolution map
Spotted Dove - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Non-resident in South Dakota

Additional Spotted Dove Photos
 Spotted Dove 1 - Spilopelia chinensis