Diamond Dove

Family: Columbidae Diamond DoveGeopelia cuneataPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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One of my diamond doves has died due to getting out of its cage and getting injured. I need to know if I should try and get another one, I have had them a year and... (more)  Irene Barrow

   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

Report Broken Video
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

Irene Barrow - 2015-07-31
One of my diamond doves has died due to getting out of its cage and getting injured. I need to know if I should try and get another one, I have had them a year and a half can one dove survive alone. I feel so bad of the loss of the one and feel sorry for the one left, can someone please advise me

  • Clarice Brough - 2015-08-06
    You can keep it alone, but it will do best with a companion.
Mar - 2015-05-15
How can you tamed 18 months diamond doves.

  • Clarice Brough - 2015-05-18
    Here's a site with an article on Taming Diamond Doves. That should help!
  • Mary - 2015-05-21
    Thanks for your reply
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.

  • Katelyn - 2015-05-02
    i went to any pet store
Tonya - 2005-12-14
I fell in love with a pair of Diamonds I saw in a store I frequent. I got them as a christmas present to myself. I love them! The male coos and it is most pleasing compared to the screeching of other birds. They were a young pair and had difficulty figuring out the nesting process. The male trying to keep the nest looking it's best would accidently knock the eggs out and they would break, but they have made up for it. I have nine of their offspring, one being a pure white, hatched the morning after Katrina. Her name is Hope. I really enjoy my Diamonds, listening to them cooing to each other. I keep them in large cages but this spring I plan on building a large aviary for them. Now if someone would just tell the male it's winter and the female needs a break before spring!

  • Dave - 2010-05-14
    Tonya....... someone normal LOL, I don't mean to sound like an arse in my past comments..... but people who just get birds and lose a heap until they figure it out really get to me! You have a pure white! Awesome... never seen one! I got a pair of fawn pied peaceful doves today! I can't stop looking at them!!
  • The dove lover - 2015-05-02
    i have 2 pure white ones
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.

  • Katelyn - 2015-05-02
    i went to any pet store