We often think of pigeons or doves when imagining a few gentle birds famous for their cooing sounds. However, there is always a subtitle confusion surrounding these feathered creatures, the white pigeons & doves. If you are wondering, ‘Are white pigeons doves’ or ‘Are doves just white pigeons,’ this article is for you. In this article, I will help you learn whether they are the same and how to tell them apart.’
Further, you will explore the five key differences between white pigeons and doves. But before I tell you how to identify these creatures accurately, let’s understand ‘Are white pigeons doves’ or ‘Are doves just white pigeons.’
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Are White Pigeons Doves?
No. White pigeons are not just doves. According to the research conducted by Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions, they are said to be a part of the same taxonomy group, ‘Columbidae,’ but are distinct species with unique characteristics. Pigeons belong to the genus Columba’, whereas doves belong to the ‘streptopelia’ genus. If you look at the taxonomic group / Colombie family, you will find it extensive, with nearly 300+ species, including white pigeons & doves.
According to Study.com, both dove & white pigeons are different creatures found in various colors, including white. Their habitats & certain distinguishing characteristics set them apart as distinct species within the same Columbidae family. Both are very popular creatures, commonly found in urban settings, especially in parks & gardens.
However, doves’ overall presence in cities is relatively less than white pigeons. Confusion about both species being the same often arises due to the varying coloration of these birds. Therefore, it is possible to find doves & white pigeons together, but they will always remain separate species under the same family. We can say that the major contributor to the mix-up between white pigeons & doves can be due to the common occurrence of pigeons in urban areas.
If you look at cities across the globe, you will find numerous pigeons having nests in certain environmental circumstances. If you want to know where do pigeons nest, consider reading this article. Coming back to the point, the pigeons are often recognized by their greyish or brownish plumage. However, it is not uncommon for some birds to have white color sometimes, which may lead to confusion in urban cities.
However, it doesn’t mean that both species are completely apart. Both white pigeons & doves belong to the same Family, Columbidae & share many physical characteristics. As I said earlier, both species are known for their gentle & docile natures, which has always contributed to their association with peace & love in various cultures & societies worldwide. Both species are medium size birds with stout bodies, small heads & short legs.
Talking about their bills, they’re also relatively smaller but can adapt to different feeding habits. You will find some species of doves foraging grains & seeds, whereas pigeons often consume a variety of fruit & small insects. One of the most intriguing features that I find of both species is their ability to produce crop milk which is said to be a very nutritious substance regurgitated by both male & female Birds to feed their young.
To know more about ‘how pigeons nest,’ consider reading our articles on white pigeon nesting behavior. Coming back to the point, the crop milk produced by pigeons is regurgitated & provides essential nutrients to the chicks, which is also a fascinating adaptation, setting them apart from other Birds species. After knowing whether doves are white pigeons, let’s look at the five major differences between white pigeons and doves.
White Pigeons vs Doves: 5 Key Differences between
White Pigeon Vs Dove: Size & Body Structure
If you pay attention to the overall body size & structure of both these species, you will find some intriguing differences that can help you tell them apart. White pigeons are said to be generally larger & more robust compared to doves. As per Poultry Extension found that white pigeons can weigh up to 500 grams, whereas doves usually weigh around 150 grams.
In addition to this, the white pigeon body structure will seem to be more rounded with a sturdy neck, whereas doves will have a slimmer and elongated body. You can easily tell them apart by just looking at the size & overall body structure of both species, especially when you observe them side by side. The largest species of white pigeon will make them more visible, especially in urban environments where they will gather in flocks to forage for food.
White Pigeon Vs Dove: Plumage & Coloration
If you’ve ever observed a white pigeon in flight, you might already be familiar with the contrasting dark markings on their wings & tails. You should note that these markings may vary in intensity & pattern among different individual white pigeons. On the other hand, doves will always exhibit a more consistent & evenly colored plumage with no prominent markings. Even though the plumage of white pigeon & dove species seems quite similar, there are still a few differences. Doves are famous for their uniforms without any prominent marking, making them quite appealing in small groups.
White Pigeon Vs Dove: Behavior & Vocalizations
Like any other bird species, white pigeons & doves will also exhibit distinct behavior & vocalization. Research conducted by the Rentokil PCI India stated white pigeons are more gregarious and are most likely to see in large flocks of anywhere between 50–500 birds, whereas doves are more solitary. In terms of vocalization, pigeons are repetitively known for their cooing sounds, whereas lad doves will always emit softer, melodic coos.
As I told you, white pigeons are famous for their gregarious nature, which allows them to coexist harmoniously in urban environments. Therefore, it is not uncommon to spot white pigeons in large numbers foraging on the ground or perching on buildings & ledgers. If you observe their behavior for a couple of hours, you will be fascinated by the valuable clues it gives for identification. Talking about doves, in contrast, they are said to be solitary & will move cautiously, seeking out sheltered areas & tree branches. Also, you will likely hear doves in quiet surroundings, adding a sense of tranquillity to their natural habitat.
White Pigeon Vs Dove: Geographic Distribution
After looking at the world bird database, I learned that white pigeons are common worldwide in urban areas. In contrast, doves usually like to inhabit forests as well as Woodlands. However, some dove species can also thrive in urban environments, depending upon their adaptation & environmental factors. When you take a look at the geographic difference distribution of white pigeons & doves, you will be amazed.
White pigeons have a remarkable capability to cohabit with us & take advantage of the abundant food sources available in our city. Overall, we can say that the global distribution of white pigeons is largely attributed to their ability to adapt & thrive in urban settings. In contrast, doves are particularly found in natural settings, but some species may also adapt to urban life. However, you will find their overall distribution more diverse, spanning a wide range of global environments.
White Pigeon Vs Dove: Taxonomy & Classification
As I told you earlier, white pigeons & doves belong to the same family taxonomically. But, if you pay attention to its taxonomy, it is further divided into distinct genera & subspecies. As per my research, I learned that this separation is usually based on genetics and morphological difference. Looking at the taxonomic classification of both these species, white pigeons & doves, you will collect some valuable insights into their evolutionary history & genetic relationships. While they share a common ancestry, their distinct genera & species highlight the diversity within the Columbidae family.
|White Pigeon (Columba sp.)
|Dove (Streptopelia sp.)
How to Identify White Pigeons & Doves?
- To tell whether it is a white pigeon or a dove, you need to observe its size, shape, & length. White pigeons usually have longer & more rounded tails, whereas doves will have shorter but pointed tails.
- As I said earlier, white pigeons will also have a larger & more rounded necks, whereas doves are famous for their small & slender neck. Also, the white pigeon head will look slightly rounder compared to the sleeker head of the doves.
- If you are patient & listen to their vocalization, you can distinguish between the two species, white pigeon & dove. White pigeons produce repetitive coping sounds, whereas doves will have softer & more melody coos.
- Another way to tell both species apart is by noting their behavior in flight. White pigeons will be more active & agile flyers than doves, known for their graceful & gliding flight. Just paying attention to how the bird moves through the air will help you identify the flight pattern & further tell the species accurately.
- Lastly, another factor that you need to consider is their habitat & location. If you have spotted a very common bird around you, especially in urban areas, it is likely to be a white pigeon. Doves often prefer to inhabit forest grasslands & Woodlands.
Even though white pigeons and doves are quite related, they are very distinct species in various aspects, including size, plumage behavior, geographical distribution, & taxonomy. I have given my best to give you a major key difference between white pigeons vs. doves to help you identify and tell both species apart.
After reading this article, I hope you can confidently differentiate between these beautiful creatures white pigeon vs dove. No matter what species of bird you are spotting right now, we should always cherish & protect these creatures that grace our surroundings with their presence. Also, if you find this article helpful, consider sharing this.
Your share may help other people cultivate a better connection with the vain world & contribute to conservation. Both white pigeons and doves add a touch of wonder and changes to our lives, reminding us of the beauty & significance of all living beings sharing this planet. Therefore, next time you spot any of these graceful birds, white pigeons, or doves, take a movement to observe them & admire their unique attributes.
If you find this article helpful, consider sharing. Your share will help many people learn about the relationship between white pigeons vs Doves. See you in the next post; till then, take care, and goodbye.