Spotted doves or spotted turtle doves are natives of tropical southern Asia, and are most recognizable by their black patch and white spots at the back of their neck. They are mostly light brown on their upper parts, with darker centers in the feathers on their back and wings. Their head is gray, and their neck and underparts are gray-brown, tinged with pink. When flying, their white-tipped tail is seen clearly. Males and females have similar plumage. Young look like the adults, but instead of a black and white collar they have a mostly dark gray one.
Spotted doves are widely distributed. Its native area is southern Asia, from Sri Lanka and India, east to south China and southwest Asia. They have been introduced to the United States, in the California area (Los Angeles), as well as Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand. In all these areas, their range is expanding. The Spotted dove is often found near human habitation, and they live in mountains, open woodlands and farmlands, villages, suburban regions and gardens. They do not live in dense forests.
Spotted doves are usually in small flocks or pairs, foraging on the ground or perching in trees and on telephone wires. They have a rapid, powerful and direct flight, but when leaving a perch to feed on the ground, they often glide down quietly. When not displaying, they will perch and call cuk cuk coorrr, the female’s call being quieter. Mated birds will preen each other (called allopreening), especially around their head and neck. Any aggressive behavior is usually accompanied by a threatening kirr call, and this can escalate into a physical confrontation involving the slapping of wings. When disturbed, the Spotted dove rises quickly and heads for leafy cover. This species does not migrate, but performs some dispersion to colonize other areas that are suitable.
Spotted doves are monogamous breeders. This means that both the male and the female have only one partner. They breed throughout the year, most activity being from September to December. A male will perform a display flight, a steep rising flight accompanied by loud wing-clapping. When he gets to about 30 or 40 m in the air, he spreads his wings and tail and glides back down to a perch. He will also walk in front of a female, fluffing up the black and white patch on his neck, while bowing his head up and down. The adults build the nest together in a bush or tree, near an open area. The nest is a platform of loosely combined twigs, grasses and roots. 1 or 2 slightly glossy white eggs are laid. Incubation is for around 14 to 16 days, by both parents. The altricial chicks are covered sparsely with pale down. For the first week, their parents brood and look after them continuously. Young fledge when they are about 2 weeks old, and their parents immediately begin a new clutch.
This species is vulnerable to habitat loss from human developments, and also to agricultural herbicides and trapping in some countries for the pet trade.
According to IUCN, the Spotted dove is common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. However, national population sizes for the species are estimated for China at 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs, and for Taiwan at 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs. Overall, currently Spotted doves are classified as Least Concern (LC) and their numbers today are increasing.