The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Laughing Dove

Afrikaans name: Rooiborsduifie

A Laughing Dove perced on a wall

Laughing Doves are common garden birds

Photo © Steven Herbert

Spilopelia senegalensis

The Laughing Dove is found throughout South Africa. In some areas of the country it is abundant and resident while in others it is more nomadic. In some areas it is a common visitor to gardens. The Laughing Dove is also found in most of sub-Saharan Africa as well as some of the Middle East and southern Asia.

Their call is bubbling and low-key and supposedly resembles a laughing noise.

Males are a big more brightly coloured than females. Juveniles are even paler and the chest markings are less distinct.

Laughing Doves mainly eat seeds and grain but will also eat some insects.

They build a flimsy nest in a tree. The female normally lays two eggs.

When courting the male approaches the female with his chest puffed out and he bobs his head up and down.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 106

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 52

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 48

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 44

The Doves, Parrots, Louries & Cuckoos of Southern Africa - Author: M.K. Rowan - Published: 1983 - Page: 84

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 128

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 162

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 22

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 224

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 136

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 216

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 196

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 305

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 308

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 228

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 219

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 169

Newmans Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1991 - Page: 32

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 196

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 410

Know your Garden Birds - Author: - Published: 0 - Page: 10

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 51

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 152

Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: P. Ginn & G. McIlleron - Published: 1981 - Page: 47

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 34

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 59

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 100

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 180

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 116

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 65

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 116

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 37

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Published: 2005 - Page: 36

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 14

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 80

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 134

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 94

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 142

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 115

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 115

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