The Diamond Geopelia is a bird a little smaller than the pigeon, very endearing, calm and easy to raise. This kind of small dove is in any case very appreciated by individuals who wish to raise birds that do not pose any difficulty. Let’s find out who the diamond dove is and what its needs are in captivity.
Diamond geopelia: main characteristics
The Diamond Geopelia (Geopelia cuneata), also called Diamond Dove and sometimes even Diamond Dove by some breeders, is a gregarious bird (living in groups) endemic to Australia and belonging to the Colombidae family. It can be found in different Australian regions, arid to semi-arid, provided that a river, a pond or any other drinking water point is in the immediate vicinity. In winter, it migrates to southern areas in order to escape the difficult survival conditions. At present, this species is not particularly threatened.
The diamond dove is physically very close to the pigeon and even more so to the turtledove, but smaller, with a height of about twenty centimeters at the most in adulthood and an average weight of 45g. It is a not very fearful bird, which tolerates moreover completely the proximity of the Man provided that this one does not make sudden movements.
The wild phenotype of the Diamond Geopelia is either a grey plumage and a white rump, or a grey-blue plumage on the back and head, a white belly and a white tail. Its legs are pink, its orbital rings and beak are orange. Stripes are visible on the neck of the juveniles. Mutations have resulted in many color combinations such as isabelle (yellow-opal), ochre (yellow-red), variegated, white, white-tailed red, white-rumped red…
Diamond Geopelia frequently vocalizes and uses two types of calls to communicate with its congeners. These birds live in groups of about twenty individuals, sometimes up to thirty, and are especially active at the beginning and end of the day. The rest of the time, they live in the shade to protect themselves from the heat. This bird is nevertheless able to withstand drought if it is possible for it to quench its thirst as much as necessary.
Diamond dove : feeding
This granivore adopts a diet mainly composed of small seeds and grass or leaves (grasses, legumes), then supplemented by a few ants and other insects. This bird feeds on the ground.
Diamond geopelia : reproduction
Diamond Geopelia reaches sexual maturity at the age of 4 months.
It is in spring that diamond doves reproduce mainly during the period following heavy rains because food resources are then more abundant. The male is content to greet his female with specific vocalizations and other cooing, but does not engage in any great love parades. He simply spreads his wings to reveal his beautiful white feathers.
After mating, the female lays 2 white eggs, in a nest built succinctly by the couple, with dry grass and twigs, in a bush or shrub. The incubation lasts 14 days. It is assumed by the male and the female. Both parents also feed their young with a nutrient called crop milk or pigeon milk. At the exit of the egg, the young weigh only 2 to 4 g, but they develop very quickly. At the age of 11 to 14 days, they take their first flight. However, their parents continue to feed them for another two weeks.
Raising a Diamond Geopelia: advice to follow
Easy to breed, the Diamond Geopelia is a bird perfectly adapted to life in captivity as long as it benefits from good living conditions. It is also one of the favorites of private individuals who love breeding domestic birds. It is therefore necessary to respect good breeding practices, as it is the case for any animal.
We recommend an aviary rather than a cage, because the place where the diamond dove lives must be spacious enough to avoid boredom and stress for its birds. It should be noted that the more they are confined in a small space, the more fearful they become. The choice of the aviary is to be determined according to the number of individuals you wish to accommodate because they must be able to fly without damaging their feathers. For a couple, at least a 100 x 100 cm aviary should be chosen, which can be installed indoors or outdoors as long as it is well protected from draughts and humidity. But very quickly the couple can reproduce. Therefore, it is necessary to think about it.
The equipment required for these birds is simple, consisting of a few perches, a small water bowl, a water trough and one or two feeders.
It is easy to know if the Diamond Geopelia doesn’t like it in its aviary: it walks on the ground, mainly standing at the bottom, but hardly flies at all. If the breeder notices this type of behaviour, he has no choice but to offer his birds a larger aviary. It is in any case a real pleasure to breed diamond doves because they are sociable, very pleasant, not very noisy, calm. It is even possible to integrate them into a very large aviary that already shelters other bird species because Diamond Geopelia gets along with everyone.