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Pigeon & Dove : the messengers of Peace

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

Common Pigeon

§ Pigeons and Doves are very intelligent birds which stay around human habitats. They are considered as symbols of peace and tranquility. Due to unique sense of directions, they have been used as messengers / postman since medieval time.

§ Pigeons and Doves belong to the same family of birds – ‘Columbidae’. They display similar features like thick and round bodies, short necks and thin peaks. However doves are generally of smaller stature whereas pigeons are larger and stubbier. Further pigeons are more aggressive while doves are gentler. Besides doves have larger tails compared to pigeons.

§ As per famous folklore, a very interesting incident involving loving birds doves got mentioned in story of 'Salim' ( later known as Mugal Emperor Jahangir ) , who loved birds, and his beloved ' Mehru-nisha' (later known as Nur Jahan). The story tells about freeing innocently of a pair of doves by Mugal empress.

§ Here four types of pigeons and doves have been displayed pictorially which have been sighted in their natural habitats.

1. Common Pigeon :

· Also known as ‘Rock Dove’. Scientific name is ‘Columba livia’.

· It has grey tail with blackish terminal band and broad black bars across greater coverts.

· It gives a deep , repeated gootr-goo, gootr-goo voice.

· They mainly feed on seeds, fruits etc.

Common Pigeons

2. Eurassian Collar Dove

· Its characteristic feature is black half- collar mark on neck.

· Its scientific name is ‘Streptopelia decaocto’.

· Its voice is a repeated cooing ‘kukkoo kook’.

Eurasian Collar Dove

Eurasian Collar Dove

3. Laughing Dove

· It is slim, small with fairly long tail. It has brownish – pink head and underparts and black stippling on front.

The Laughing Doves are named for their distinctive 'coo' vocalizations that are similar to human laughter.

· Its scientific name is ‘Stigmatopelia senegalensis’.

· Its voice is soft ‘ coo-rooroo-rooroo’.



4. Spotted Dove

· It has upperparts scaled or spotted with pinkish – buff. It has extensive black & white chequered patches on sides of neck which provides identification feature.

· Its scientific name is ‘Stigmatopelia chinensis’.

Spotted Dove


# The 10th December is celebrated as Human Right Day and this is also the day when the Noble Peace Prize is presented at Oslo, capital of Norway.

# Pigeon & Doves normally live around human habitat. We should protect them.

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