Diamond doves, Geopelia cuneata are tiny doves native to Australia. They are found in the woodlands and a type of terrain called the mulga scrublands, which are dry areas in the western part of the country. There they are seen in pairs or small groups feeding on the ground.
The diamond dove is gray with tiny white spots on its wings. The hen is a little smaller than the cock and has more brown in her plumage. The spots on her wings are also a bit larger. The pet owner can also tell them apart because the male spreads his tail feathers when he courts the hen. Both have red eyes surrounded by a red ring, red legs and a horn colored beak.
Because diamond doves like to forage on the ground, they need a large cage with a solid bottom that is kept clean. The cage or aviary should be placed in a sunny spot, as the birds enjoy sunbathing. It is important that more than one of these birds be kept together, as they are very social. They can be kept with other birds of the same size.
The owner should provide open next boxes if they want to breed their diamond doves, for the nests the birds build are not as sturdy as they could be. If there is more than one breeding pair in the cage, make sure there are enough nest boxes so that they do not fight over them. The hen usually lays two eggs, and the hatchlings are one of each sex. She incubates the eggs in the morning, while the cock incubates them in the afternoon. It takes about 13 days for a diamond dove egg to hatch, and the young are ready to leave the nest after 10 days. They have their adult coloring when they’re one month old and the colorful eye ring about a month later.
Diamond doves need to be given a variety of seeds and grains to satisfy their nutritional needs. These include canary seeds, hemp seeds, hulled oats and millet, poppy seed, linseed and panicum. Though the others can be mixed and placed in a seed bin on the floor of the cage, rape seeds should be placed in a separate bowl, for they are very rich and high in fat. Clean water for bathing and drinking must also be available at all times.
These little doves can live as long s 25 years in captivity if they are well cared for.