Diamond Dove

Family: Columbidae Diamond DoveGeopelia cuneataPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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Our male escaped in December. He was our little dogs buddy. I woke this morning to that familiar cooing sound by my window. It is March now and is it possible he... (more)  Candace

   The Diamond Dove is one of the smallest doves and is considered to be one of the most beautiful!

   The little Diamond Dove is very popular, second only to the larger Ringneck Dove. It is a most delightful and attractive pet with beautiful white spots or "diamonds' on its wings and shoulders. It is a perfect choice for a beginner as it is very hardy and easy to keep. It will readily breed and makes an excellent foster parent for the young of other small dove species.

   In the wild the Diamond Dove is quite prolific, but it is so extensively bred and readily available in captivity that it is generally considered to be a domestic dove.

For more information about the care of Doves and Pigeons see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Doves & Pigeons.

Geographic Distribution
Geopelia cuneata
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Data provided by GBIF.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Columbiformes
  • Family: Columbidae
  • Genus: Geopelia
  • Species: cuneata
Diamond Dove Mating Dance

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Diamond Dove Mating Dance

Diamond Dove Mating Dance - Max Wooing Chloe

Scientific Name: Geopelia cuneata (also Strictopelia cuneata)


  • Diamond Dove
    Geopelia cuneata cuneata
  • Geopelia cuneata mungi

Distribution:     The Diamond Dove is found in central and northern Australia. They are members of a group commonly called the Turtle Doves. They inhabit open terrain, grasslands and sparsely wooded areas especially around water. They are also found in the parks and gardens of cities and towns.

Description:     The Diamond Dove is a small bird, a little larger than a canary, with a long tail. Mature birds are about 7 1/2 inches (19 cm) long and will weigh about 1 1/2 oz (45 g). Their average life span is about 10 years.
   The head, breast, and neck are a light bluish-gray and the back is a light brown. The tail is a dark gray with the middle feathers tipped in black and the outer feathers tipped in white. The lower abdomen and under the tail are a creamy-white. The upper half of the wings and the shoulders are a brownish-gray scattered about with small white spots circled in black, thus the 'diamond' appearance. The lower half of the wing is a more chestnut color. The eye is orange-red surrounded by a coral-red orbital eye ring. The beak is olive brown and the legs are a pale pink.
   The male will have a darker head, neck, and breast than the female and the orbital eye ring will be larger, though these characteristics are not readily apparent until they are at least 6 months old. A young bird will have a browner head and overall feathering, and the eye and surrounding orbital ring will be paler.
   There are several mutations and color varieties of Diamond Doves with the most popular being silver. Others include varieties that are all white, dark gray, very brown, red, yellow, cinnamon, and pied.

Care and feeding:    Diamond Doves are usually kept in an aviary, but they can also easily be kept in a large parakeet cage with 3/8" bar spacing. The minimum size of the cage should be at least 18" square. Cages that are longer and wider are more important than tall cages as these birds flutter around and do not climb.
   Like the Ringneck Dove they are quite hardy. If they are kept outdoors and are accustomed to cold weather, they can take below freezing temperatures for a couple of days, but it is best to provide a heat source.
   A good finch or parakeet seed mix supplemented with greens rich in minerals, vitamins, and calcium is a fine diet. They not only enjoy their greens but will also enjoy spray millet, especially white millet. They also require grit and cuttlebone.
   See About Doves & Pigeons: Housing and About Doves & Pigeons: Care and Feeding for more information.

Social Behaviors:    They are good-natured social creatures that do well when kept in cages or in aviaries. Being very peaceful and tolerant, they can be housed kept with finches and canaries. They form permanent pairs and mates do well if kept together.
   See About Doves & Pigeons: Social Behaviors for more information on social behaviors of doves and pigeons.

   The Diamond Dove gets its exercise through short flights about the aviary. If kept in a cage, the larger the better so they can get some exercise there too.

Breeding/Reproduction:    These are one of the doves that is dimorphic, meaning it can be sexed visually. It generally takes several together in order to tell the difference between the male and female, but the male will have a noticeably larger orange ring circling the eye. This difference, however, does not become apparent until they are about 6 months old so younger birds will be difficult to determine.
   Though Diamond Doves are not as prolific as the Ringnecks, they will breed in either a large cage or an aviary. They will need a nest, an open canary nest will work fine. Provide nesting materials such as dried grass and small twigs.
   They female will lay two eggs which will hatch in 13 - 14 days. Be sure to remove the young when they are weaned as the parents may start attacking them in an attempt to run them off. They do make very good foster parents for the young of other similar sized doves.
   See About Doves & Pigeons: Breeding/Reproduction for more information on breeding.

Diamond Doves!
Photo © Animal-World

   The Diamond Dove is not normally handled as it is a bit more flighty and high-strung than the Ringneck Dove.
   It is usually kept in an aviary but can also be kept in a cage as long as there is a quiet atmosphere with few disturbances.
   Being very peaceful and tolerant, they can be kept with finches and canaries.

Potential Problems:   These birds are hardy and healthy if provided with a good environment and a good diet. Avoid an environment that is wet, cool, and drafty.
   See About Doves & Pigeons: Potential Problems for information on health.


Availability: Diamond Doves are readily available. Usually available at pet stores, but can also be found through bird shows, bird clubs or breeders

Author: Clarice Brough, CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Diamond Dove

Candace - 2015-03-10
Our male escaped in December. He was our little dogs buddy. I woke this morning to that familiar cooing sound by my window. It is March now and is it possible he has made it through the winter? Even better yet has come home? Can any one give me an answer. He was our pet for 4yrs...

  • Clarice Brough - 2015-03-10
    If it's a Diamond Dove you are hearing it could be your fellow, as these types of doves are not native to the US. They originate from Australia and so are not found as free flying birds here
dove person - 2015-03-04
Is it common to get your diamond dove to fly to your hand when called?

  • Clarice Brough - 2015-03-04
    Doves are wonderful pets and often become very tame, but they are not really the type of bird that can be trained. They can't be expected to learn tricks, or be able to free fly and then return home. Unlike the homing pigeons, these doves do not have a homing instinct.
Helen - 2009-06-01
I just adopted 2 Diamond Doves and could not find a store that sells dove food!
I love them and I want to give them the best care! Can anyone answer my questions (I have a lot of them :)
What kind of food would you recommend for the Diamond doves?
I also do not know what is is "grit and cuttlebone" that they recommend here and were can I get it?
Do Diamond doves need a "shower"?
How long do they live?
Thank you, hope someone will be able to help me!

  • Anonymous - 2012-05-30
    The diamonds are too small for reg dove food so I recomend using parakeet mix with egg protien.
  • Loyda Carlson - 2012-09-23
    Hello I thought I could help. I've been studying about diamond doves for a while now and I am also a proud owner of a pair. The food that is highly recommended for diamond doves would be finch seeds. Diamond Doves swallow their seeds whole and you wouldn't want to feed them a food that you would feed a cockatiel for example it would be too big. Also because they swallow their seeds whole you need to provide them with 'grit' which helps them digest the seeds better. It's very important. Grit is Oyster shells broken down into tiny little fragments. You can find the finch seed at your regular pet shops, the grit you can find online on Amazon or at a bird store. Diamond doves also love to eat fruits and vegetables. DO NOT FEED THEM AVOCADO OR TOMATOES for the are EXTREMELY POISONOUS TO THEM! My Diamond Doves love fresh spinach, cilantro, broccoli, anything green. becareful not to feed them too much lettuce for it will make their droppings very runny. If you're going to offer them the greenest ones, carrots would have to be shredded . They also love fruits. For treats offer them bread, millet spray one for each bird in the cage, hard boiled eggs with the shell which would have to be crushed down to tiny fragments for them. Cuttlebones offers great vitamins and minerals calcium etc. it also helps to keep their beaks trimmed. You can find these at Walmart along with pet shops as well. Diamond doves love to bathe at least mine do, so provide them with a bird bath so that they can bathe just becareful not to make the water too steep because they can drown. Just a little is sufficient enough for them to do what they have to do. Diamond Doves usually live for 10-15 years depending on the care that they receive. Good Luck I hope this helps out if you have anymore questions please feel free to write to me and I will be more than happy to help out as much as I can.
  • Trudy - 2015-03-02
    You seem to understand doves. On the same day the 1 week old baby dove and the father died accidentally when I took the baby dove out of the cage I accidentally left the little door part open and George flew out and my dog got him. So sad day. Now gracie is alone. How long should I wait to introduce another male? Or can I do a female? And any thoughts to help her woul be great.
dove person - 2015-02-11
My dove is a very pale grey with a white belly and tail with brown tipped flight feathers what mutation is he.

  • Clarice Brough - 2015-02-14
    That's hard to say as there are more than 300 types of doves and pigeons. Perhaps ask the people you got the bird from for his background, or if its a wild bird, research what types of doves are found in your area. Mourning Doves and Collared Doves are very common across the US.
Alex - 2011-02-15
I am looking for a young Diamond dove does anyone know where I can get a young one I have two weeks to find one or I have to go to the store and get an adult.