African Mourning Dove (Streptopelia decipiens
African Mourning Doves are a medium sized bird of 12" (30cm) and one of the three 'black-collared Doves' seen in Kenya (the others being Red-eyed Doves
and Ring-necked Doves
). You can see an easy way to identify each of the three, by eye recognition, on my blog-post
African Mourning Doves are pale grey-brown in colour, featuring yellow eyes, ringed with orange-red. A pale pinkish neck and breast, while throat, belly and under tail coverts are white. Habits
African Mourning Doves are strong, fast fliers, with a noisy wing-beat. Their nests are flimsy affairs, built out of sticks and grass, found in a variety of places, from cliff edges to human structures. Two eggs are hatched after two weeks and both parents produce 'pigeon-milk' in their crops, to feed their young. Like all members of the Dove and Sandgrouse families, African Mourning Doves drink without raising their heads. Diet
African Mourning Doves are vegetarians, but will take insects, especially winged termites. Resident
African Mourning Doves are seen in the west half of Kenya and beside Lake Victoria. All areas below 1,400m. Extra Facts
African Mourning Doves back feathers easily detach, possibly a protective mechanism against predators.
Doves have an uncanny way of finding their way over unfamiliar territory - which is why Man has used Doves for carrying messages. Photographs
Photographed at Kenya's Lake Baringo and Meru National Park.