Top Differences Between Dove vs Pigeon

Have you ever wondered whether doves and pigeons were the same animals? Well, this depends on where in the world you are. Doves and pigeons are both in the Columbidae family. This family includes 310 species of birds. Sometimes, dove and pigeon can be used interchangeably. There is nothing official that says they are different from one another. However, there are some ideas of how doves and pigeons differ. Keep reading here to learn more about the types of doves and pigeon bird differences. 

Habits with Nesting 

If you are interested to know the difference between dove and pigeon, you should look into their nesting habits. 

In some areas of the world, the Columbidae family are seen as pests. They often nest in areas where people live. You might find a nest in your porch light, on the side of your shed, in the gutters on your house, or in the city park. There are many of these birds that live in the wild, too. However, most of the time, people notice large numbers of these birds in nesting areas. For example, when you see many of these birds in a parking lot, they probably have nests nearby. 

When pigeons make their nests, they are usually weak and soft. The nest is very basic and made with easy-to-find materials. This could include hay, grass, sticks, or even garbage. These nests will generally have 1-2 eggs at a time. The female and male adult birds help when raising the baby birds or squabs. After about 7-28 days, the baby birds are mature and can go off on their own. 

On the other hand, doves are the birds of this species that many people keep as pets. They often have nesting boxes inside their cages in someone’s home. With this being said, doves can live in the wild, too. 

Diet Information 

When you are looking into the types of doves and pigeon bird species, you will see information about their diets. Most of the diet for both of these birds consists of seeds. 

The pigeons, however, often eat more insects and wild fruits. They scavenge for their food in different areas. They may find food on the ground in parking lots. These birds may go into the woods to find their food or pick insects out of dying logs. 

Doves are usually fed by their owners. They eat a variety of things. Some of these foods include seeds, vegetables, fruits, and table scraps. Some doves even eat bread, chips, and other food from their owner’s meals. 

If you see a dove living in the wild, it will probably be considered a pigeon and eat the same as wild pigeons. 

Human Interactions 

The way that pigeons and doves interact with humans can be different, as well.

Have you ever been to a parking lot or a park where there are pigeons? If so, have you noticed that the pigeons tend to scurry away when you get near them? However, what happens when you toss some food their way. The birds will come scurrying back for it most of the time. They still might be skittish, though.

Have you ever seen a dove in captivity? These birds are usually quite socialized. They are used to being around humans, so they don’t get as skittish when their owners or other people come near them. They may even accept hand-feedings from their owners. You may also notice that doves in captivity tend to make fun noises when their owners are around. 

The next time you see a pigeon in the wild spend some time watching how it interacts with you and others. If you plan to get a dove as a pet, go to a pet store and watch how those birds interact with humans. You might see some differences. 


These are some of the differences between the different types of doves and pigeon bird species. While these birds are the same, some may say they are completely different animals. The main difference is that the doves are usually kept in captivity and the pigeons are the ones that people see in the wild. If you have been wondering about the differences between dove vs pigeon, now you know.

If you want even more information about these birds, you can read books on both of them. When reading these books, take note of the species they are called. You will likely see them both labeled under Columbidae. However, the books and other resources you check into may talk even more about the differences noted between doves and pigeons here today. 

Are pigeons and doves related?

If you have been wondering whether doves and pigeons were related, the answer is yes. These birds are the same. They are both a part of the Columbidae family. There are 308 bird species in this family. With that being said, the pigeons are like the wild version of the dove. The doves are the ones that are usually held in captivity or as family pets.

Are doves and pigeons the same bird?

Some people think that doves and pigeons are different birds. However, they both come from the same family, Columbidae. This family has 308 different birds in it. However, the doves and pigeons are the same. They both have rounded, thick bodies. They have thin peaks and short necks. The doves are a bit smaller than pigeons. However, this is likely because pigeons eat whatever they want in the wild, while doves are usually fed by owners in captivity.

What are the different types of doves?

There are different types of doves. Some organizations say there are 344 species of doves, while others say there are 308 species of doves. Out of all these species, there are 13 that have gone extinct.

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Written by Leo Roux

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