Harriet Smith Photography


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Laughing Doves

The laughing dove gets its name from its particularly characteristic call, sounding ‘ha ha hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo’.  The adult female laughing dove is similar in appearance to the male, although the plumage is slightly paler and less reddish.

Although primarily an inhabitant of woodland and savanna, the laughing dove is also found around human habitations, farmlands, villages and towns. The laughing dove tends to nest in fruit trees, particularly in pomegranate and olive trees.  The laughing dove feeds primarily on seeds, but also eats other vegetable matter, such as fruit, as well as small insects, particularly termites.

The male laughing dove courts the female with a spectacular flight display. A monogamous bird, the laughing dove only has one partner and will tend to return to the same nesting site year after year. Each nest is typically situated on its own.

The male laughing dove collects materials for the nest and the female then builds the nest with meticulous care. Each nest consists of 100 to 140 twigs and can last up to nine months even through monsoons. The female typically lays two eggs at a time, and both the male and female take turns to incubate the eggs for up to two weeks. The female lays eggs on average 6 times each year, resulting in 10 to 16 eggs being produced per breeding season.

Laughing Doves
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