Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata) are a large species of pigeon commonly found in sub-Saharan Africa. Similar to the laughing dove, Red-eyed Dove species is included with the “ring-necked” doves and boasts a bright red iris surrounded by featherless pink skin around the eyes. The back plumage on their necks normally has a thin white outline. The white plumage on the head gradually becomes pale pink and purple around the neck and belly, which then transitions into the classic slate gray wings. Like other species of dove, the legs and feet are a reddish-pink color that is not as bright as the skin around the eyes. Tail feathers seen from the underside are quite long and tipped with bright white while from the top appear gray and brown. Characteristic of pigeons, sexes are monomorphic and juveniles display duller or more brown plumage.
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Red-eyed Doves have adapted to almost every environment found in South Africa and are found in urban, rural, and forested areas. Countries included in their range are Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, and South Africa. Desert areas are not preferred for this species as they nest in trees near water sources. This species has not surprisingly benefitted from human disturbance, much like other pigeon species. Their call is described to be an “incessant” and loud cooing; doo-doo-du-du. Foraging behavior is largely solitary or in pairs on the ground under trees. Their diet consists mostly of plant matter, especially seeds, fruits, and flowers, from native or non-native trees and agricultural vegetation.
The Red-eyed Dove is resident bird breeds year-round with the majority of the population participating from September to January. The creation or selection of the nest and incubation are done by both sexes. Red-eyed Dove have been documented occupying nests previously built by crows, thrushes, and egrets instead of making their own.