Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Western Spotted Dove (Spilopelia suratensis)


French: Tourterelle indienne German: Westliche Perlhalstaube Spanish: Tórtola moteada occidental
Other common names: Indian Spotted Dove

Columba suratensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Surat, Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay), India


Hitherto treated as race of S. chinensis, but indicated as a likely separate species#R and differs in its reddish to red iris and red eyering vs yellow to orange iris and narrow grey or blue-grey eyering (3); plumage pattern of upperparts greatly emphasizes buff tips vs dark central bars to feathers, thus appearing predominantly pale-spotted vs dark-spotted (2); song typically (and perhaps always) more protracted owing to repetition of main stressed note vs no such repetition (2); size generally smaller, albeit larger in north of range (informally 1); zone of intergradation in “Cachar, Manipur, etc.”#R (assumed to be wide: 1). Birds of Sri Lanka sometimes separated as race ceylonensis based on smaller size; in past, those of NE Assam separated as edwardi. Monotypic.


Pakistan, Nepal and India S to Sri Lanka, and E to Bhutan and Assam.

Descriptive notes

27·5–30 cm. Paler on head and breast than formerly conspecific nominate S. chinensis and has mauve-pink wash on belly, with white undertail-coverts and wing-coverts... read more


Song a rather mournful, repetitive “ook-oo-oo-ow”, with frequent variants such as “kookoo-krroo-... read more


Prefers more mesophytic situations than S. senegalensis, frequenting moist deciduous... read more

Food and feeding

Broadly similar to S. chinensis. A ground feeder on grain and other seeds, occasionally berries (e.g. Berberis ceratophylla... read more


Known to breed year-round, even in late autumn in Himalayas, but mainly early May to Jul in foothills of Pakistan; at least May–Aug in... read more


Himalayan populations move to lower altitudes in winter; species is basically only a summer visitor... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally very common to abundant, and often very abundant, locally being the commonest dove. A successful species thriving in... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Western Spotted Dove (Spilopelia suratensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 December 2019).