Laughing Dove

Laughing Dove    Stigmatopelia senegalensis


  • Stigmatopelia : Greek word stigma- spot; peleia- dove
  • Senegalensis : From Senegal

Vernacular Names: Sind: Tutan gheri, Hindi: Chhoti fakhta, Parki, Tortra fakhta, Panduk, Pun: Totru, Ass: Ram kopou, Guj: Khumri, Holi, Mar: Chota Tapakiri Hola, Vhalgad, Ta: Thavaattu pura, Te: Chitti bellaguvva, Sowata guvva, Mal: Aripravu

Distribution in India: Widespread resident in India, not found in Himalayas and North East India.

Description: Size of 26-27 cm.The head, neck and breast is mauve-pink, merging into creamy white belly which passes into white under tail-coverts; a broad band of bifurcated display feathers on front and sides of neck, each feather black basally with golden copper tips; mantle, scapulars and inner wing-coverts rusty red-brown; outer wing-coverts blue-grey to slate; secondaries a darker greyish slate; primaries dark grey-brown edged white to buff; lower back and rump dark slate-blue with brown admixed; upper tail-coverts dark greyish brown with reddish tips; iris dark brown; bill dark grey-brown; legs purple-pink. Female similar but usually duller, back is less red-brown, breast less pinkish; eye-ring often grey with a pink edge; legs dull red.

Habitat: It is found in dry deciduous biotope and margins of semi-desert.

Food Habits: It is mainly granivorous, feeding on seeds of weeds; also takes grain, green shoots of crops, fruits and nectar. Feeds in small flocks.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Jan-Oct. The male in courtship display follows the female with head bobbing displays while cooing. The male pecks its folded wings in “displacement-preening” to solicit copulation from the female. The female accepts by crouching and begging for food. The male may indulge in courtship feeding before mounting and copulating. Pairs may preen each other. Males may also launch into the air with wing clapping sounds and then glide down in a gentle arc when displaying. The nest is a very flimsy platform of twigs built in a low bush and sometimes in crevices or under the eaves of houses. Both parents build the nest with males bringing the twigs which are then placed by the female. Two eggs are laid within an interval of a day between them and both parents take part in building the nest, incubating and feeding the young. Males spend more time incubating the nest during the day. The eggs are incubated after the second egg is laid and the eggs hatch after about 13 to 15 days. Nesting adults may feign injury to distract and draw predators away from the nest. Multiple broods may be raised by the same pair in the same nest. The young fledge and leave the nest after about 14 to 16 days. The Jacobin cuckoo sometimes lays its egg in the nests of the laughing dove.