Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between a Dove and a Pigeon

Dove vs Pigeon

Doves and pigeons belong to the Columbidae bird family. This family includes almost 300 different species of arboreal birds called near passerines. In general, people do not distinguish between doves and pigeons. However, as per ornithological usage, doves are used for smaller species, and pigeons are used for larger species. Young pigeons and doves are referred to as squabs. They look similar with slight differences. They have both stout bodies, slender bills, and short necks.

They are considered very gentle and can be easily domesticated. They live mostly in towns and cities both in inhabited areas and in abandoned buildings. They are a symbol of love and peace. A white dove is especially related to peace, and in many celebrations and diplomatic events white doves flying in the air is supposed to be a symbol of peace between two nations.

Historically, the names “dove” and “pigeon” have originated from different languages and have different origins. They were used in historical times to deliver messages from one kingdom to another and were of great importance. Pigeons, which are bigger, were used more often as messenger birds.

They are seen to build very flimsy nests and lay one or two eggs. Both parents look after the young, and the young leave after almost 28 days. They feed on plants, fruits, and seeds. One of the major characteristics of pigeons and doves is that they produce crop milk, and this is highly nutritious and fed to the young.

The main difference between pigeons and doves is their size, as mentioned above. Pigeons are larger in size. The largest species of pigeons is the Crowned Pigeon of New Guinea. They are almost 2-4 kg. in weight. Doves are comparatively smaller in size. A dove which resembles a hummingbird and weighs 22 gm. is the species called New World Dove. It has also been observed that the tails of pigeons are more rounded in shape whereas the tails of doves are more pointed.
Doves and pigeons feed on fruits, seeds, and plants, but some of the species of doves have been observed to feed on small insects. For example, Quail Doves and Ground Doves also feed on worms and insects.

Summary:

  1. Doves and pigeons belong to the Columbidae bird family. This family includes almost 300 different species of arboreal birds called near passerines. They belong to different species of the family Columbidae.
  2. Historically, the names “dove” and “pigeon” have originated from different languages and have different origins.
  3. The main difference between pigeons and doves is their size. For example, the largest species of pigeons is the Crowned Pigeon of New Guinea. They are almost 2-4 kg. in weight; doves are smaller, for example, the New World Dove which weighs 22 gm.
  4. Most all pigeons and doves eat fruits and seeds, but some doves, like Quail Doves and Ground Doves, also feed on worms and insects.
  5. The tails of pigeons are more rounded in shape whereas the tails of doves are more pointed.


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