Animal-World > Birds > Doves - Pigeons > Ringneck Dove

Ringneck Dove

Family: Columbidae Tangerine Ringneck DoveTangerine Ringneck DoveStreptopelia risoriaPhoto Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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We've had a ringneck dove for 30 years! He has always been happy, jumping perch to perch, cooing. The best is when he giggles, he does it when family argues. Breaks... (more)  Kim

   Ringneck Doves are gentle birds that do not bite and are easily tamed. They can be handled by by adults and children alike!

   The Ringneck Dove is the surely the most commonly kept dove in captivity and are kept by fanciers all over the world. Ringneck Doves are easy to care for and are hardy. Being good-natured social creatures they will do well in either a cage or in an aviary and can be kept as a single bird or as a pair.

   Perhaps best known for its gentle temperament, a Ringneck Dove makes a great pet that is sweet natured and almost naturally tame. Give it a couple days to get used to its new home and family, and then you can begin letting it out to explore its surroundings. Though your pet may flutter about for a bit when first let out, it will quickly settle down and become quite content.  

   Until the 1950's only two colors of Ringneck Doves were available in the United States, a blond or fawn color and a white color known as the White Dove. Today the Ringneck Dove comes in over 40 colors with more being developed.

   The Tangerine Ringneck Dove, like the one shown in the picture above, was the first color variation developed.

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

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Columbiformes
  • Family: Columbidae
  • Genus: Streptopelia
  • Species: risoria

Scientific Name: Streptopelia risoria

Distribution:    There are seven species of 'ringnecks' and they are members of a group commonly called the Turtle Doves.
   This domestic ringneck is classified as Streptopelia risoria. Although its true origin is unknown, the ringneck is generally thought to be descended from the African Ring Dove or African Collared Dove Streptopelia roseogrisea.
   It had been kept for over 2000 years, brought to Europe in the second half of the sixteenth century from Sudan. Described by Linnaeus in 1756 as Columba risoria, it is only known to exist as a domesticated bird.

Description:     The Ringneck Dove is a small bird, about 12" from head to tail. They will live an average 10 - 15 years, though some may live over 25 years.
   Originally whites and blonds (fawns) were the only two known colors of Ringneck Doves in the United States. In the 1960's breeders began experimenting and through selective breeding have developed a large number of varieties. Today there are over 40 color mutations/combinations acknowledged by Dove Associations and new color variations are emerging constantly. The first dominant gene caused color mutation was the tangerine.

Care and feeding:    Suitable housing for a Ringneck Dove would be a large cockatiel cage along with some flight time outside the cage. A pair can be kept and bred in a cage as small as 2 feet square. Cages that are longer and wider are more important than tall cages, as these birds flutter around and do not climb. Males tend to be quarrelsome with other males so keep pairs housed alone.
  They are quite hardy. If they are kept outdoors and are accustomed to cold weather, they can take below freezing temperatures for a short period of time.
   Ringneck Doves are very clean birds and love to bathe. They will enjoy either a bath in a large bowl of water or a shower, a misting with a light spray of clean water.
   A commercial dove and pigeon mix or a regular parakeet seed mix supplemented with greens rich in minerals, vitamins, and calcium is a fine diet. Ringneck Doves love treats. They not only enjoy their greens, but will also enjoy spray millet and such things as crumbled cornmeal and bread. Grit is essential as Ringneck Doves swallow their food whole, and it helps grind up the food. Oyster shell or even cuttlebone can be added for calcium and is important for egg layers.
   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. They can be rather territorial however, and will need plenty of personal space. They can be easily tamed with very little effort. 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.

   If kept in a cage, they should be let out daily for some free time to exercise. They are not known to be strong fliers and will be content to just flutter here and there and then will quickly settle down.

Breeding/Reproduction:    Ringneck Doves are easy to breed, but are not usually community breeders unless there is a lot of room. They will do best in their own cage and it can be relatively small. They are rather flimsy nest builders so it is best to provide them with an open nesting container.
   They can be bred as early as 6 months of age. They will lay two eggs which hatch after about 14 days. The young will stay in the nest for about 4 weeks or so. The parents can lay a new clutch of eggs every six weeks but this is very unhealthy for the birds. It is recommended that they only produce 3 to 5 clutches a year. You can remove the nesting materials or separate the birds to control this.
   See About Doves & Pigeons: Breeding/Reproduction for more information on breeding.

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: The Ringneck 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 Ringneck Dove

Kim - 2022-02-06
We've had a ringneck dove for 30 years! He has always been happy, jumping perch to perch, cooing. The best is when he giggles, he does it when family argues. Breaks up the argument every time. Recently he has started a strange ritual. He lifts his head straight back onto his back.He acts like he is dizzy or losing balance. Then it stops and he acts normal again.Any ideas what might be wrong with him?

  • Meredith - 2022-04-30
    Hi, Kim! I had a wonderful ring-neck named Chatterbox for 30 years. He was my pet from childhood through children of my own. He would interrupt us with his laugh much the same way. I’m convinced he thought he was a person! In the last two years of his life, he began behaving as you described, twisting his neck to rest on his back as if he was experiencing dizziness. He progressed this way for several months and then began to actually lose his balance on occasion; it would often take him by surprise and startle him, and he would end up flailing around his enclosure trying to regain his bearings. I ended up removing his perches so he would fall or beat up his wings. A trip to our vet (a local avian vet who specializes in doves) confirmed that he was experiencing neurological/balance problems that are common to birds of advanced age, particularly doves. We did a course of antibiotics to rule out any kind of infection (which can sometimes cause similar symptoms), but that was not the issue. As his balance problems became more severe, he kept his neck in a 180* position constantly, making it impossible (and dangerous) to fly. For about the last year of his life, I moved him out of his enclosure and into a large plastic bin lined with towels on the sides to protect his wings if he began flailing around. As he became less mobile, I would tuck him in a small bin wrapped with a scarf at night to keep him comfortable and calm, in case he lost his balance as he started to fall asleep (a common occurrence). He still loved to be held and handled and we just had to adapt accordingly so that he didn’t injure himself if he fell over. I wish you the best with your beloved pet!
Kasey - 2008-12-05
Why is my ring neck dove not pecking at his cuttle bone? My zebra finches do it.

  • Amy - 2011-03-06
    He or she will do better with grit. Doves prefer grit.
  • Ak Desmond - 2022-04-11
    I once had a brown ring neck dove & a king pigeon. They both prefer crushed egg shell, charcoal & dove/pigeon & gravel
Kim - 2022-02-06
We've had a ringneck dove for 30 years! He has always been happy, jumping perch to perch, cooing. The best is when he giggles, he does it when family argues. Breaks up the argument every time. Recently he has started a strange ritual. He lifts his head straight back onto his back.He acts like he is dizzy or losing balance. Then it stops and he acts normal again.Any ideas what might be wrong with him? Thanks, Kim

wanda myers - 2016-05-27
My name is wanda myers, I am a proud owner of 15 beautiful doves 3 are not white the rest are. I love them and treat them as my children. the people around me love my birds so much. I would love if some one can get them to me to take any doves that needs forever homes. to me every animal needs a home and love. and i am picky as crap to who gets a dove, thy can not be smokers or have animals that would hurt the dove. The home has to be a healthy ,safe environment to get the dove then i have a must agree to promise that if they ever want to get rid of the dove or get sick of it to send it back to me, it is hard enough to let my babies go so if i give anyone a dove i am basically trusting you with one of my feathered kids

  • Bernard Stallard - 2017-02-26
    I live in Apopka, Fl (near Orlando) in a semi rural area by orchard farms and horses grazing. I have a screened in waterfall pond (cement) with many tropical plants. I have about 25 Koi, 2 turtles and two snails. They are cohabiting successfully. I am looking for a young pair (male and female) to adopt. They would have open freedom to fly about the enclosure. Please contact me if you have two with some information about supplies. I have kept birds before but not this type. A friend highly recommended them as an addition to my patio (407-814-4427).
  • Lori - 2017-04-25
    Dear Wanda,
    I read your post on here about your lovely ring neck doves. I would
    like to buy a male ringneck to add to my bird family. I am an
    experience bird owner and lover of cockatiels and parakeets.
    Not sure where you live but I'm looking to own one and wondering if
    you have any for sale. Thank you, Lori, ortext631949-3059
  • Debbie wilson - 2019-10-11
    Hello Wanda, could you please call me 314-420-6451
  • kris - 2019-07-27
    Hi Wanda, my name is Kris I found a dove in my yard last week it seems people friendly but will not let me touch him or her! I fear for its safety as we have a lot of hawks around and no one that I have called will help me. Do you have any suggestions or no anyone who might want a dove?
Christine Williams - 2018-09-18
I have beautiful tangerine pearl ring-neck doves for sale! Some are babies and others are older! Very loving birds! Grate music in the mornings/evenings. $15. 00 for one or $25. 00 for two. Call christine @ 530-742-2211. Have a blessed day!

  • Susie Bui - 2019-06-05
    Last 3 days this bird tangerine pearl ring neck cam to my back yard, i though he (maybe she) is wild bird, but after study from Google I knew it is ring -neck dove
    Please help, I do not know how to take care of him , He look so lonely I want to buy an other to keep him company. Do i need the cage ? I feed him ( or her) by dove food from Petco Store
    Thank you
Kevin close - 2017-08-19
Looking to buy a ringneck dove

Jerry Lindemann - 2016-02-29
Due to failing health I'm looking for a home for my mixture of Ring Neck, white, white wing aviary birds. About 25. Not for food or sport shooting. Jerry Lindemann

  • Susan Jackson - 2016-04-10
    I live in Mississippi. Have a growing, wild population of ring-necks nesting in the expansive woods behind my home, creek a few hundred feet back of my house. Suet, sunflower, chicken scratch at feeder. Everybody seems pretty happy. Want to give it a go? Not a controlled aviary...just a nice wild place they can live.
  • Rick - 2016-04-27
    I have a huge beautiful aviary and I love everyone of my doves. I will take as many as you would like me to have and cherish everyone of them. Rick
  • hasina - 2016-11-23
    I like to adapt at my home cage 2 to 4 tanzarine pearl neck dove as soon as possible. How to have them? please write me.
Tom Bove - 2015-08-25
I would love for someone to adopt my Mom's Doves. Either one or both. they are both of the North American type and I believe one of them is a ringneck , They are very healthy and coo a smooth mellow tone, They have their own cages and perches. My mom is too old to care for them and they need a home, She is 93. The birds are about 10 years old.

  • john - 2015-09-02
    you didn't say where you are located- I would love to give them a forever home here in SC