Zebra Dove
Geopelia striata

AvesColumbiformesColumbidaeGeopeliaG. striata

Zebra Dove Geopelia striataZebra Dove Taxonomy & Nomenclature

The Zebra Dove is also known as the Zebra Ground-dove and the Barred Dove. It gets its name from its Zebra-like striations on its neck and breast. They do not have a Hawaiian Name.

The Zebra Dove is part of the Geopelia genus which consists of minuscule long-tailed doves. It is closely related to the G. placida (Peaceful dove ) and G. maugeus (Barred dove). The three have been considered conspecific but differ due to their unique songs.

Zerba Dove Habitat & Location in Hawaii

Zebra Doves are native to the Malay Peninsula and can be found in Myanmar Sumatra, and Java. They are popular in aviculture and have spread to countries such as Thailand, Laos, and Australia due to them being released or escaping. They spread from Australia to Hawaii and were first spotted on Oahu in 1922. It is an invasive species that has spread from Oahu to the other islands.

They are considered Urban Birds but are common in both rural and urban areas. They are one of Hawai’i”s most populous species of lowland bird.

Zebra Doves build nests out of leaves, grasses, and dried plant parts. Their nests are usually found in bushes and trees in urban areas but may sometimes be found on the ground in rural areas.

Zebra Dove Conservation Status

Zebra Doves are not considered a threatened species. They are generally common throughout their range and are considered very common in Hawai’i.

While there are no current conservation efforts in place related to the Zebra Dove in Hawai’i, they are victims of the Aviation pox that first appeared in Hawai’i in the 1800s. Zebra Doves with this disease have deformed feet and beaks.

Zebra Dove Physiology

Male and female Zebra Doves look similar and do not have any distinct patterns. Zebra Doves have blue facial skin and gray to light brown feathers. Their underside ranges from light-gray to pink. Like other species in the Geopelia  genus, Zebra doves are tiny, ranging from 20-23 centimeters in length and weighing between 41-66 grams. They have long, narrow tails. Juveniles primarily have brown feathers.

Zebra Doves are often  seen in groups. They feed alone or in pairs and their diet consists of small insects and grass seeds. They usually forge on the ground.

If you live on Oahu, you have undoubtedly heard the song of the Zebra Dove. It is a major part of the morning sounds on the Hawai’ian Islands. They have a repetitive staccato cooing call.




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