The doves are the 308 species of near passerine birds in the order Columbiformes, hence the adjective columbine refers to something being dove-like. The terms dove and pigeon are used interchangeably, although smaller species are more likely to be called doves. The species commonly referred to just as the "pigeon" is the feral Rock Dove. Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. The poorly constructed nests are made of sticks, and the two white eggs are incubated by both sexes. Doves feed on seeds, fruit and other soft plantstuffs. Unlike most other birds, (but see flamingo), the doves and pigeons produce "crop milk", which is secreted by a sloughing of fluid-filled cells from the lining of the crop. Both sexes produce this highly nutritious substance to feed to the young. This family occurs worldwide, but the greatest variety is in the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones. It is related to the extinct dodos.













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The young doves and pigeons are called 'squabs'. A person who keeps pigeons is called a 'pigeon fancier'. White doves are a traditional symbol of love and peace. A dove was supposed to have been released by Noah after the flood in order to find land; it came back carrying an olive branch, telling Noah that, somewhere, there was land. A dove with an olive branch has since then come to symbolize peace. In Christian iconography, a dove also symbolizes the Holy Spirit, in reference to the Baptism of Jesus where the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove. In politics the name "dove" is sometimes applied to figures who favour peaceful solutions to problems as opposed to "hawks", who favour aggressive action.

Above Images Are From The Us Fish and Wildlife Service



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