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Senegal Dove

Spilopelia senegalensis
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Range: 
Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East east to the Indian Subcontinent. It was introduced in Western Australia.
Habitat: 
Dry scrub and semi-deserts.

Related species of doves live 1.5 years on average due to predation, but can live up to 30 years.  In its short lifespan, the Senegal Dove needs to reproduce to continue the species.  Courtship starts when the male follows the female with head bobbing and cooing.  The nest is a very flimsy platform of twigs built in a low bush and sometimes in crevices. Both parents build the nest with males bringing twigs which are then placed by the female. Two eggs are laid within an interval of a day between them and both parents help building the nest and 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. The Jacobin cuckoo sometimes lays its egg in the nests of the laughing dove in Africa.

Like other species of pigeon, the Senegal dove can drink water by creating suction with its mouth, rather than needing to tilt its head back to swallow each beakful.  They also feed “crop milk” to their chicks, a high-fat and protein secretion that helps the chicks grow quickly.