A dove belongs to the same family as pigeons, known as Columbidae. Doves, similar to pigeons, can be found in various parts of the world, with the most diverse populations in places like Australia, Asia, and Indonesia. These birds are commonly hunted for sport globally.
Doves tend to gather in groups when they feed. They have a diet that includes various kinds of seeds, and you can often see them visiting bird feeders or searching for food on the ground. This group of doves is typically referred to as a “Bevy.”
The origin of the word “bevy” when used to describe a group of doves is not entirely clear. However, there are a few theories and stories about how this name came to be.
One theory suggests that it may have come from the French word “beau,” which means beautiful. This idea proposes that the name was chosen to depict the beautiful and graceful way a group of doves flies together.
Another theory links it to the word “beaver,” perhaps symbolizing the hardworking nature of a gathering of doves. Nevertheless, there isn’t solid evidence to confirm these theories, and the true source of the name remains a mystery.
Despite its unclear origin, the term “bevy” has been used for many centuries to refer to a group of doves. It has become a common part of the English language and is frequently used in literature, poetry, and everyday conversations.
Additional collective nouns for doves include:
What is a Pair of Doves Called?
Doves are usually monogamous during the breeding season, often staying with the same mate for multiple years. Both parents cooperate in raising their young. However, there isn’t a specific name for a pair of doves. When they court each other, males display their feathers, fly around, and coo to attract females. Once they form a bond, the dove pair quickly constructs a basic nest, usually within two days.
Doves usually don’t nest on the ground; instead, they build nests in shrubs, small trees, ledges, and other low places using twigs, grass, and pine needles. These nests are not very sturdy and may not withstand strong winds, which can lead to nest failures. Additionally, if they feel threatened by humans, cats, or other predators, the dove pair may abandon their nest, eggs, or chicks and start a new one elsewhere.
What is a Group of Baby Doves Called?
Typically, doves lay only two eggs in each nest they build. The female and male take turns incubating these eggs until the chicks hatch about two weeks later. These baby doves are referred to as “squabs,” and there isn’t a specific name for groups of squabs.
After hatching, parents continue to incubate the chicks for a few more days until they can regulate their body temperatures on their own. Dove parents care for their young for a couple of weeks, feeding them a milk-like substance produced in their crop.
Baby doves are ready to leave the nest approximately twelve days after hatching. At this point, the parents stop feeding them, encouraging the fledglings to venture out and find their own food. Fledgling doves spend several days on the ground before they are capable of flying back into a tree.
During this vulnerable time, fledgling doves are at risk from predators because they cannot fly away to escape danger. Cats and dogs pose the most significant threats during this period, and parents may continue to feed their fledglings for a few more days after they leave the nest.
Do Doves Flock Together in Groups?
Doves typically feed in flocks on the ground, and sometimes, mourning doves gather together in groups on trees or telephone wires. These groupings may serve as protection from predators, as there is safety in numbers.
Changes in the environment, such as deforestation and monoculture farming, are impacting dove populations. Populations are declining, especially in areas where forests are cut down and agricultural lands are dominated by a single crop. Reduced plant diversity leads to a scarcity of food and nesting sites for doves.
Doves primarily consume seeds and require an abundant supply to maintain their population. They have the ability to store seeds in their crop and digest them later. They also ingest small rocks to help grind up the seeds stored in their crop.
Do Doves Migrate?
Doves migrate in groups when the weather changes in the northern parts of their range. In the Americas, doves living in southern Canada and the northern United States migrate south to Mexico.
However, doves in the southern United States or Mexico may make smaller, partial migrations or not migrate at all. When spring arrives, northern dove residents return to their breeding grounds to build nests and raise their broods.
Introduced species like European Collared Doves and Rock Doves have become established in the Americas. Rock Doves, often released at events like weddings, are white doves. Both introduced species are considered pests in North America and can carry diseases like West Nile Virus.
Researchers have studied the impact of these naturalized populations and found that they occupy the same ecological niche as native dove species like the Mourning Dove. Native and introduced doves often compete for nest sites and food resources.
In some cases, scientists believe these introduced doves may interbreed with native North American doves, producing hybrid offspring. While such interbreeding does occur, it remains relatively rare.
Final Thoughts Gropu of Doves
Doves are collectively referred to as a “bevy,” a term that has been used for a long time to describe a group of these lovely birds. Although the exact origin of this name is unclear, it has become a common part of the English language, used in literature, poetry, and everyday conversations.
Aside from “bevy,” there are also other names for groups of doves, each with its own unique history and significance. Learning about these names for animal groups can help us recognize the richness of language and culture.
For bird enthusiasts, understanding the behavior and characteristics of the birds we observe is crucial. Familiarizing ourselves with the group names for doves, as well as their migratory patterns and social behaviors, enhances our appreciation for these beautiful birds.
The next time you spot a bevy of doves soaring in the sky, take a moment to admire their graceful collective movements and the distinct language used to describe them. Happy bird watching!