National Geographic Society Newsroom

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Pigeons and Doves

The distinction between doves and pigeons seems to not be consistent. In everyday speech, dove frequently indicates a pigeon that is white or nearly white; some people use the terms dove and pigeon interchangeably. In contrast, in scientific and ornithological practice, dove tends to be used for smaller species and pigeon for larger ones, but...

The distinction between doves and pigeons seems to not be consistent. In everyday speech, dove frequently indicates a pigeon that is white or nearly white; some people use the terms dove and pigeon interchangeably. In contrast, in scientific and ornithological practice, dove tends to be used for smaller species and pigeon for larger ones, but this is in no way consistently applied.

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of birds with the theme Pigeons and Doves, your pictures can create awareness about the variety and beauty of birds in our environment. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of birds of the week.

Common Pigeon, also known as Rock Pigeon or Rock Dove, has restricted natural resident range in western and southern Europe, North Africa, and extending into South Asia. Photographed in Taiwan (Pradnya Paralkar)
Common Wood Pigeon photographed in North Wales, UK (Anthony Roberts)
The Eared Dove is a New World dove. It is a resident breeder throughout South America from Columbia to southern Argentina and Chile, and on the offshore islands from the Grenadines. Photo taken in Aruba (Michiel Oversteegen)
The Common Emerald Dove, also known as Asian Emerald Dove or Grey-capped Emerald Dove, is a widespread resident breeding bird in the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the Indian Subcontinent (Ramesh Aithal)
Eurasian Collared Dove photographed near Yamuna River, Delhi, India (Tarun Kapoor)
The Laughing Dove is a resident breeder in Africa, the idle East and the Indian Subcontinent. It is a small long-tailed dove found in dry scrub and semi-desert habitats, and pairs can be seen feeding on the ground. Photographed in Bangalore, India (Praveen k Bhat)
Little Green Pigeon in Selangor, Malaysia (Richard Chong)
One of the most common birds in North America is the Mourning Dove, this species may raise up to six broods per year. Photographed in the USA (Kelly Hunt)
Namaqua Dove. This is the only species in the genus Oena. Photo taken in Sohar, Sultanate of Oman (Dr SS Suresh)
The Nilgiri Wood Pigeon is a large pigeon found in the moist deciduous forests and sholas of the Western Ghats in southwestern India (Munnar Kerala)
The Orange-breasted Green Pigeon is found across tropical Asia south of the Himalaya across part of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Like amny other pigeons, it feeds mainly on small fruits. Photo taken in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India (Poonam S Nayaka)
The Oriental Turtle Dove has a wide native distribution range from Europe, east across Asia to Japan. Populations found in higher latitudes migrate south in winter while those closer to the tropics are sedentary. Photographed in Uttarakhand, India (Nishant Rana)
The plumage of the Pin-tailed Green Pigeon is mostly yellowish green and the bird has pointed tail feathers. Photo taken in Darjeeling, India (Ajoy Kumar Dawn)
Preening Eurasian Collared Dove photographed in Sangli, Maharashtra, India (Prakash Chimad)
Red Collared Dove, also known as the Red Turtle Dove, is a resident breeding bird in the tropics of Asia. Photographed in Bangalore, India (Praveen k Bhat)
The Red-eyed Dove is a widespread and common species in sub-Saharan Africa. Like many other species in its genus, Red-eyed Doves are not gregarious and they are often found feeding alone or in pairs. Photographed in Western Cape, South Africa (Mary Walker)
Rock Pigeons are also known as Rock Doves or Blue Rock Doves. The domestic pigeon descended from the Rock Dove. Photographed in Pune, Maharashtra (Kavya Ram)
Rock Pigeons photographed in West Bengal (Gargi Biswas)
The Speckled Pigeon is also known as the African Rock Pigeon. It is a resident breeding bird in much part of sub-Saharan Africa, although with sizeable gaps in its distribution. Photographed in the Western Cape Province of South Africa (Mary Walker)
The Spotted Dove is a small yet long-tailed pigeon that is a common resident breeding bird across its native range on the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Photographed in Hong Kong (John Parkinson)
Spotted doves have been introduced into many parts of the world. This photo was taken in Nilgris, Tamilnadu, India (Mohan Dravid)
The Thick-billed Green Pigeon is a rather small-sized pigeon being under 26 cm as compared to other pigeons. This species ranges across the eastern regions of the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Photo taken at the Tiger Reserve, Alipurduar, (Prashanta Bhattacharjee)
Wedge tailed Green Pigeon in Kotdwar, Uttrakhand (Dr. Sanjay Solanki)
Wedge-tailed Green Pigeons are greenish to yellow in colour with wedge shaped tail. The natural habitats of this bird are subtropical moist lowland forest and subtropical moist montane forest. Photo taken in Sattal, Uttarakhand Photographed by (Aparna Mondal)
The Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, also known as the Yellow-legged Green Pigeon, is the state bird of Maharashtra. It is called Marathi in Hariyal. Photo taken in Bhatinda, Punjab Photographed by (PS Bhandari)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Abigail Ramudzuli, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: July

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of the world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Meet the Author

Steve Boyes
Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.