Dove, Chinese Spotted
The Chinese Spotted Dove is also known as the Spotted Turtle Dove, Lace-Necked Dove or the Mountain Dove. It is a slender bird with a long tail. Its total body can be as long as 28 to 32 cm (11.2 to 12.8 inches). Its wings, tail and back, are brown with a mottled buff appearance. During flight, black feathers surrounded in gray colors are visible. Their head and under parts are pinkish and their face and lower part of the belly is a paler gray. They have a black neck patch that is finely speckled, and they have red legs. The males and females are similar in appearance while the young ones are not as brightly colored and lack the patchy neckband that is prominent in the adults. An adult Chinese Spotted Dove weighs between 4 to 6 ounces.
Forests and farmlands are favored habitats for Chinese Spotted Doves. It is an indigenous breeding bird in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. It was introduced to the U.S Hawaii and Southern California as well as Singapore, the Philippines, northern Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The range of this species is expanding rapidly.
The Chinese Spotted Doves are somewhat terrestrial, scavenging the ground for canary grass seeds, grains, insects, hemp seeds, grit, cracked corn, wheat, millet and other vegetation.
The rich meat of the Chinese Spotted Dove is dense and dark in color. It is a favorite food at Chinese banquets and is hunted intensely in its indigenous habitats. It is scarcely hunted in California, but it is well-liked game meat in the Hawaiian Islands. It is challenging to hunt due to it has a rapid speed in flight and its erratic flight pattern.
Chinese Spotted Doves travel alone or in pairs. They are tame but sudden noises disperse them into flight. They fly in similar formations as Crested Pigeons. On landing they slant their tails upwards. The male spotted dove stages a daring courtship flight that includes a steep climb, followed by descending glide with his wings stiff and tail fanned. Its nest is flimsily constructed and made of a platform of sticks. The female lays an average of two whitish eggs, which she incubates for around 2 weeks. A new clutch is begun as soon as the young ones depart from the nest. The young are fed very rich pigeon milk for the first 6 or 7 days by both its male and female “parents.” After this, they feed on regurgitated grains and seeds provided by its parents. This continues for the first14 to 16 days of their lives. The Chinese Spotted Dove gives a low and gentle coo-coo-croo call, with the emphasis on the last note. Sometimes the call sounds like 'coo-coo krrroo, krook!'
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