Doves vs. Pigeons — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on December 6, 2023
Doves are smaller, often symbolizing peace, with pointed tails, while Pigeons are larger with rounded tails, commonly seen in urban areas. Both belong to the Columbidae family.
Difference Between Doves and Pigeons
Table of Contents
Doves and Pigeons, though frequently used interchangeably, have distinguishing features that differentiate one from the other. Doves are generally smaller in size and possess a graceful appearance. Their pointed tails and soft cooing often make them symbols of peace and love. In contrast, Pigeons have a robust build with a rounded tail, and their presence is ubiquitous in cities and urban landscapes.
Doves often come in lighter shades and can be pure white, symbolizing purity in various cultures. Pigeons, however, exhibit a variety of colors and patterns, with the blue-gray variant being the most common in urban environments.
In terms of behavior, Doves are often seen as more reclusive and shy, opting for quieter environments. Pigeons, on the other hand, are more adaptable to human environments, making them frequent visitors to public spaces.
Lastly, both Doves and Pigeons play significant roles in various cultures, with Doves often linked to peace and Pigeons historically used for communication.
Often associated with urban life
Adapted to urban areas
Lighter shades, often pure white
Varied, common blue-gray
Compare with Definitions
Small birds known for their gentle appearance.
The Doves cooed softly from the tree branches above.
Birds with a sturdy build, often seen in cities.
Pigeons gathered around the park bench, hoping for crumbs.
Birds symbolizing peace and purity in various cultures.
White Doves were released at the ceremony to signify peace.
Larger members of the Columbidae family with a rounded tail.
The Pigeons took off in unison, their wings flapping loudly.
Birds that produce a soft, melodic cooing sound.
The sound of Doves cooing is synonymous with serenity.
Creatures historically used for communication and delivering messages.
Before modern communication, Pigeons played a crucial role in delivering important messages.
Creatures with pointed tails and a tranquil demeanor.
Doves are often kept as pets due to their calm nature.
Omnivorous birds that can adapt to various environments.
Pigeons thrive in both rural and urban settings, showcasing their adaptability.
Members of the Columbidae family, often in lighter shades.
Doves, with their delicate hues, stand out against the blue sky.
Birds that come in varied colors and patterns.
The diverse colors of Pigeons make them a fascinating subject for birdwatchers.
Any of various widely distributed birds of the family Columbidae, which includes the pigeons, having a small head and a characteristic cooing call.
Any of various birds of the widely distributed family Columbidae, characteristically having plump bodies, small heads, and short legs, especially the rock pigeon or any of its domesticated varieties.
A gentle, innocent person.
(Slang) One who is easily swindled; a dupe.
A person who advocates peace, conciliation, or negotiation in preference to confrontation or armed conflict.
An object of special concern; an affair or matter.
Plural of pigeon
Plural of dove
Infl of pigeon
Are Doves and Pigeons the same?
While closely related, Doves are typically smaller with pointed tails, while Pigeons are larger with rounded tails.
Why are Doves often associated with peace?
Doves, especially white ones, have been symbols of peace and purity in various cultures and religions.
What do Doves typically eat?
Doves primarily consume seeds, fruits, and occasionally small insects.
What's the lifespan of Doves and Pigeons?
Doves live around 10-15 years, while Pigeons can live up to 15-20 years in captivity.
How have Pigeons been historically significant?
Pigeons were used for communication, especially during wars, to carry messages.
Do both Doves and Pigeons have similar diets?
Generally, yes. Both consume seeds, fruits, and occasionally insects.
Do Doves and Pigeons mate for life?
Both Doves and Pigeons are known to form monogamous pairs for breeding.
Are Doves and Pigeons found worldwide?
Both Doves and Pigeons have a wide distribution and are found on every continent except Antarctica.
Are Pigeons considered pests in cities?
Some view Pigeons as pests due to their droppings and potential diseases, while others appreciate their presence.
How do Pigeons navigate when used for messaging?
Pigeons have a strong homing instinct, using the Earth's magnetic field and visual landmarks.
Can both Doves and Pigeons be kept as pets?
Yes, both Doves and Pigeons can be domesticated and kept as pets.
What's the difference in their nesting habits?
Both Doves and Pigeons build simple nests, but locations vary based on species and environment.
Are there endangered species within Doves and Pigeons?
Yes, some species of Doves and Pigeons are endangered due to habitat loss and hunting.
Are Doves and Pigeons strong flyers?
Both are capable flyers, with Pigeons especially known for their endurance and homing abilities.
How do Doves and Pigeons communicate?
Both use cooing sounds, with each species having distinct vocalizations.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.