Birds are the most intriguing and magnificent creations of nature. There are many varieties of birds- some discovered and named while some are still a mystery. There are birds of various shapes and sizes, lying on both extremities of the spectrum. Some birds are a rare sight while some live right outside our windows. Some of these birds include parrots, sparrows, pigeons and doves. Pigeons and doves are remarkably similar to each other. In fact, for someone who does not have the exact points of difference, it may be impossible to differentiate between the two. However, despite being remarkably similar, doves and pigeons are very different from each other. So, lets now read on to know pigeon vs dove: what’s the difference?
Firstly, both doves and pigeons have served different purposes in history. The dove is used as a symbol of peace. The pigeons were used as messengers to carry short messages to faraway places in times when no telephones and telegrams were available (learn more about training pigeons). In times of war, peace, famine or any other calamity, pigeons were trained for communication purposes. In some parts of the world, they as even shot and killed for their meat. Although the number has lessened over time, it is still prevalent in many regions.
Secondly, according to the biological classification system, doves and pigeons belong to the same family, i.e. Columbidae. However, the rank lower to this in the classification, i.e. the species classify them separately. There are about 300 different species of doves and pigeons so far. One of the most observable differences between the two is the physical characteristics. Doves have smaller body sizes than pigeons. Pigeons, on the other hand, have smaller tails. The tails of pigeons are round while doves have pointier ones.
At first glance, the color of the birds is the most notable difference. Dove is usually spotted in soft white color while pigeons show a mix and match of blue, green and grey. The typical sounds made by them are also different although very slightly appreciable. As far as nature and characteristics are concerned, doves are considered to be more calm and peaceful. Pigeons, on the other hand, are much more restless and noisier as compared to the doves. They can even prove to be more aggressive. Despite their differences, both pigeons and doves make excellent pet birds.
There are also huge variations in the size. In the fight of ‘pigeons vs doves: what’s the difference’, pigeons win in the area of body size. Pigeons can reach up to large sizes weighing as much as 3-4 Kg while doves can remain as small as a hummingbird weighing only 22 grams. The choice of foods can also differ. Most of the species of doves and pigeons feed on fruits and seeds. However, some of them may even feed on insects. The preferences vary from region to region and are species specific. We hope we were able to clarify pigeons vs doves: what’s the difference!