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Senegal Dove

Spilopelia senegalensis
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern
Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East east to the Indian Subcontinent
Dry scrub and semi-desert
Related species of doves have an average lifespan of 1.5 years due to predation, but they can live up to 30 years. Within its short lifespan, the Senegal Dove needs to reproduce in order to sustain the species. Courtship begins when the male follows the female, bobbing his head and cooing. The nest is a flimsy platform of twigs built in low bushes or sometimes in crevices. Both parents participate in nest building, with the male bringing twigs that are then placed by the female. Two eggs are laid with a day's interval between them, and both parents contribute to nest construction, incubation, and feeding of the young. During the day, the male spends more time incubating the nest. Incubation begins after the second egg is laid, and the eggs hatch after approximately 13 to 15 days. The Jacobin cuckoo sometimes lays its eggs in the nests of laughing doves in Africa.
Like other pigeon species, the Senegal Dove can drink water by creating suction with its mouth, eliminating the need to tilt its head back with each gulp. They also feed their chicks "crop milk," a high-fat and protein secretion that promotes rapid growth.