Laughing Dove

Scientific Name
Streptopelia senegalensis
Conservation Status
Least Concern (LC)

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Wikipedia Article

The Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis) is a small pigeon that is a resident breeder in Sub-Saharan tropical Africa, the Middle East and eastwards to the Indian Subcontinent. In India it is also known as the Little Brown Dove. Probably as the result of stowaways from Africa or India, the bird is also found in a localised area of Western Australiain and around Perth and Fremantle.
This species has recently been placed into the genus Stigmatopelia by some authorities following the studies of Johnson et al. (2001), but actually the correct genus may be Spilopelia, established concurrently with Stigmatopelia but later given priority. The Spotted Dove (S. chinensis) is the Laughing Dove's closest living relative; though they are certainly not close-knit sister species, this scenario is well in line with the two species' molecular and behavioral peculiarities. Stigmatopelia would only apply if the two were considered a monotypic genus each, i.e., a rather radical splitting approach.
The Laughing Dove is a long-tailed, slim pigeon, typically 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. The chuckling call is a low oo-took-took-oo-roo, with the emphasis on the took-took. Occasionally a nasal scream at one-second intervals is produced in flight or when landing. Sexes are similar, but 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.