Peaceful Dove

Geopelia placida

Peaceful Dove. Photo: John Spiers

One of the most delightful sounds of the Australian bush is the gentle “coo-luk” of the Peaceful Dove. Unfortunately, in most urban areas they have been displaced by Feral Pigeons, Spotted Turtle Doves and seagulls.

They feed on small seeds, especially from grasses and sedges. They forage on the ground usually in pair or small flocks.

Breeding can take place in all months but less so during the dry months of summer. Two white eggs are laid on a small platform of twigs. Incubation is by both sexes.


Males and females are alike without any seasonal variation. The female is slightly smaller. The upperbody is brown-grey, barred black and grey. The uppertail and flight feathers are dark grey. The orbital ring, cere, bill and lores are blue-grey. The neck, throat and upper breast form a barred black and white necklace. The legs and feet are pink-red with dark brown scales in the front. Immatures are duller and browner.

Where to find it

Peaceful Doves may be found throughout South Australia, in suitable habitats. They favour open habitats with a grassy understory. They may still be found in small towns and agricultural areas where some native vegetation persists. They are mainly sedentary with local movement dictated by availability of food and water.

Only the nominate race G.p.placida is found in South Australia.