Willem’s Weekly Bird Photography blog (#12)

Week 12: African Mourning Dove (Rooioogtortelduif)(Streptopelia decipiens)

A very common bird in Africa south of the Sahara this week – the African Mourning Dove.


African morning dove 1024 300k 72d sRGB W

African mourning dove

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO 1600, f8, 1/6400, exposure = -1.0, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 15 meters from birds

Chobe Nature Reserve, Botswana, November 2011



Interesting facts:

The Mourning Collared Dove (Streptopelia decipiens) is a pigeon which is a widespread resident breeding bird in Africa south of the Sahara. However, they are more common in the northern part of South Africa.

Despite its name, it is not a close relative of the North American Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura. This species is common or abundant near water. They often mingle peacefully with other doves. The Mourning Collared Dove is a largish, stocky pigeon, up to 31 cm in length. Its back, wings and tail are pale brown. The head is grey and the underparts are pink, shading to pale grey on the belly. There is a black hind neck patch edged with white. The legs and a patch of bare skin around the eye are red. (Wikipedia)

The African mourning dove lives in small areas in the northern half of southern Africa, where it is locally common. It lives in moist savanna, cultivated areas and riverine Acacia woodland. Its diet consists mostly of seeds, with very small amounts of fruit and insects. The female builds a nest of twigs, leaves and roots, the male gathering the material. It lays 1-2 eggs, which are incubated for 13-14 days (recorded in captivity). The chicks stay in the nest 15-18 days. (http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/columbidae/streptopelia_decipiens.htm)

They are quite common or abundant near water. Its flight is quick, with the regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings which are characteristic of pigeons in general. Their stick nest placed in trees, often mangroves. The average clutch consists of two white eggs. African Mourning Doves feed on grass seeds, grains and other vegetation. They usually forage on the ground, and often in groups. http://beautyofbirds.com/africanmourningdoves.html


The distribution map http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/columbidae/streptopelia_decipiens.htm:

African mouring dove map


Until next week – keep an eye on the birds and keep on shooting.


  1. #1 by bessie on June 19, 2014 - 7:03 pm


  2. #2 by Purebudget on July 10, 2014 - 11:30 am

    Timing is everything. Most species of birds eat in the morning or late afternoon. Get to know the habits of the bird that you are photographing and where it returns every day to feed.

    Microstock photographs

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