Garrie P. Landry
93 Main Street
Franklin, Louisiana 70538 Phone 337-828-5957
THE DIAMOND DOVE The Smallest of Doves
The Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneate) is kept by more aviculturist than any other foreign dove. About sparrow size, but long tailed, this busybody has been bred successfully in captivity for so many generations that today it is completely domesticated. It is a seedeater and a prolific breeder, whether kept separately or with small finches, the Diamond Dove is the favorite of most bird keepers. Currently at least 12 color forms exist: The true, wild type often called Grey or Blue Diamond, pictured above, the Silver, a pale grey color; the Cinnamon, a light grey bird with cinnamon brown & rusty red wings; the Red Diamond, a selection of Cinnamon, the Yellow Diamond , fawn or beige-colored bird, the Peach Diamond, a combination of silver and yellow is pale beige, the Ocher, a yellow X cinnamon combination with rusty red and yellow mixed, the Brilliant, an almost white diamond, but not a true white, and the various Whitetail Diamonds with their white rumps and tails and larger wing spots. The White Tail variety can be bred in almost any color such as Blue Whitetail, (Blue Whitetail male),(Blue Whitetail hen) Silver Whitetail, Yellow Whitetail, Brilliant Whitetail, etc. Perhaps the rarest Diamond, are Snow Whites, the only truely white diamond dove I know of. A Pied Diamond is also available although the mutation is somewhat difficult to work with. The Red Diamonds is certainly among the most recent color variety to become available. Look at these photos of the "Ultimate" Red Diamond, truely a most outstanding color, this is a variety we developed in our aviaries! Most but not all of these mutations were developed abroad in Europe and imported in to the US. The Snow White is another US invention that originated in our aviaries! I want to thank Jeff Downing for permission to use some of his photos below.
Photos of some Diamond Doves and my Breeding Room
- Ochre Diamond | Photo #2, | Photo #3
- Blue White Tail Pied | Photo #2
- A Blue (Normal Grey) Pied | Photo #2 and exceptional Pied!
- Yellow Diamond | Photo #2
- Red Diamond Hen (a really good one!)
- Ultimate Red Diamond a male, Photo #2 a male and female
- Snow White youngster
- Yellow White Tail combination a youngster
- Cinnamon Diamonds Photo #1, | Photo #2, | Photo #3, |
- Blue White Tail a very popular and common variety
- Silver White Tail | Silver White tail feeding young
- White Tail youngsters foreground a Blue white tail, in rear, a Silver white tail
- Photo of my Diamond Dove breeding Room #1:
- Photo of entire room still uncompleted Photo #2
- Photo of Pair in Cage and nest basket
- Photo of Feed bottle, egg food dish, and grit dish
- Photo of Water Bottle in each breeding cage
The original Grey or Blue Diamond, is slate gray over the entire body. The wing coverts are adorned with small white dots, which is where the name "Diamond" dove comes from. The outer dark gray tail feathers are tipped with white, the inner primary wing feathers have a rufous flush in flight. The red eyes are encircled by a conspicuous fleshy red cere, which is especially larger in males. In the female Grey Diamond, the head, neck and upper surface colors are heavily tinted brown and the fleshy eye ring is small. Native to Australia, the Diamond Dove was bred successfully in 1870 in Europe. In its native habitat, the Diamond Dove occurs mainly in pairs, and at times in small flocks. Feeding on a variety of grass seeds, it runs on the ground with a bobbing, motion of its long tail. In the aviary it make a frail nest, of dried grasses. Its voice is a penetrating coo, often consisting of a singular note.
Breeding Diamond doves
Breeding this dove in captivity is easy by keeping each mated pair separately to avoid fighting among the males and several hens laying in the same nest. A cage 2 feet square is suitable for one pair of doves. However, several pairs housed together will readily raise young in a spacious aviary with shelters to serve as roosting and hiding places. In other words, ample space should be provided so that the pairs need not encroach on their neighbors' breeding territories. Diamond Doves get along well with small finches if they are not crowded. I keep most of mine with Zebra finches. They will readily nest in small, open-top boxes or baskets (plastic canary nest is suitable) fastened three or more feet off the ground in secluded corners of the cage or aviary. They lay two creamy white eggs, which male & female incubate alternately from 11 to 15 days. The babies grow very fast, leaving their nest at the age of about 10 days. They may be left with their parents as long as the latter will tolerate them, and as long as they do not interfere with subsequent nestings. The young mature quickly and are capable of breeding in about 4-5 months. The sexes can be distinguished at about 6-8 weeks of age.
Feeding Diamond doves
Feeding Diamond Doves is a simple matter. A variety of small seeds, as well as some soft food, suits them well. I give my doves a standard finch mix plus larger grains suitable for ringneck doves, and they do eat it readily. I also give them a small bird grit or finely crushed eggshell. As to soft food, they relish moisten bred crumbs or corn bread also chopped hard-boiled egg and/or longhorn cheese. Moisten game bird starter crumbles is also readily accepted. They occasionally will eat chopped greens. Diamonds may even bath if give the chance (few doves do this). I do not feed them any live food and I do not believe they need it. In cold climates, Diamond Doves should be kept reasonably warm. They can tolerate frost and freezes for short periods only. These Doves have been successfully used as foster parents for young Cape Doves and other small exotic doves. The Diamond dove is perhap the best choice for a beginner to keep. Many breeders of the rarest exotic doves began the dove keeping with diamonds, I know because I am one of them. They should be recommended to anyone who desires to keep doves. My price list below does have a few additional pictures to view.
My Diamond Dove Price List! Finally a great Diamond Dove Book! For Sale Back to main index page