Laughing Dove – Spilopelia senegalensis

Simple species – published on 12th of January 2018
See Columbidae family (doves,pigeons…)
In French: Tourterelle maillée en français

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Laughing Dove is one of the most common and widespread bird in Africa and Middle East, and tends to expand its range and increase locally. It is a friendly species, well adapted to man-made habitats including towns. It is a small dove, fairly secretive, but its joyful song is often heard in the sunny mornings of hot countries. It can be extremely tame in places where it is not hunted like in Uganda, Qatar and UAE, but becomes very shy when hunted (like in some North Africa countries) or stoned by kids (like, locally, in Tanzania and elsewhere in Africa). 

Taxonomy and subspecies

This dove is fairly distinct and the closest relative is Spotted Dove S. chinensis (a species sometimes split in two); nowadays, Spotted Dove(s) and Laughing Dove have been received a separate genus, Spilopelia, while they were formerly placed in the big genus Streptopelia.

There are slight colour and size variations in its wide geographical range, as shown is some of the photos here. Note than the drinking birds on top of the page are S. s. senegalensis from Tanzania.

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[Species #13 of the Holistic Encyclopedia of Birds project]

List of other species pages: taxonomicalday per day

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All photos and text are © Valéry Schollaert and Marinella Mejia

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