The aptly named peaceful dove (Geopelia placida) is native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia (1). There are three subspecies (Geopelia placida placida, Geopelia placida papua and Geopelia placida clelandi) (3), all of which vary slightly in geographical location and physical appearance (2). Although these taxonomic sub-divisions are currently accepted (3), their validity is questioned by some, and a number of scientists believe that the peaceful dove is conspecific to Geopelia striata, the zebra dove (2).
The adult peaceful dove has a grey forehead. However, the rest of its head gradually becomes more greenish-brown towards the nape, which also has indistinct blackish barring. The sides of its neck are pale yellowish-brown, and each feather has three black, horizontal bars at the tip. The throat of the peaceful dove is pinkish-grey, as is the breast which also has bar-like markings. Its belly and flanks are reddish-pink in colour (2).
The peaceful dove’s wings have square-edged feathers that are greyish-brown and tipped with black, giving its plumage a distinctive barred pattern. Its outer tail feathers are black with white tips, compared to the central feathers which are greyish-brown, and those underneath the tail which are whitish (2).
The pale blue eyes of the peaceful dove are the same colour as the surrounding skin. Its grey bill becomes increasingly more bluish towards the base, and has a blue cere. This species has pinkish-red feet (2).
The juvenile peaceful dove is similar to the adult except for some reddish-brown on the wing feathers, which are also partially tipped white. Its underparts are light brownish-orange and the barring on its breast is more apparent (2).
- Male length: 20.8 - 21.4 cm (2)
- Female length: 17.9 - 19.1 cm (2)
- 36 - 60 g (2)