Difference Between Pigeon and Dove

Pigeon vs Dove

Pigeons and doves are cute looking small birds that are found in different parts of the world. They are soft and delicate and hunted for food but also kept as pets in homes. Both of them belong to a family of birds called Columbidae. You must have heard the phrase lovey-dovey and also come across a definition of people that describes those opposing violence as doves. In general, people make no difference between these two types of birds and call them pigeon or dove according to their whim. However, there are differences between these two birds that will be highlighted in this article.

In many cultures, doves and pigeons have been raised as pets for thousands of years and also used as sacrifices to appease the Gods. In times when there were no postal services, leave apart internet and SMS, pigeons were used to carry message from one place to another. Nowadays pigeons and doves have become a symbol of peace and released in groups in air to mark a happy event.

Talking about differences, the first thing that one notices is the difference in size of the two birds. While doves are smaller with a pointed tail, pigeons are larger and have a rounded tail. Both pigeons and doves are gentle creatures that are very quite and easy to domesticate. They are friendly as pets and need very little care and maintenance.

There are great variations in the sizes of pigeons and doves. While the crowned pigeons found in New Guinea are certainly the largest in the world (2-4kg), the smallest are certainly the New World doves that look like hummingbirds (22 grams). Both pigeons and doves are found in almost all parts of the world and they seem to have this knack of adapting to the conditions.

As far as food is concerned, both pigeons and doves like to eat seeds and fruits that form their staple diet. However, there are some species such as ground doves and quail doves that prey on insects and worms.

In most religions of the world, pigeons and doves are loved and respected and accorded a special place. In Christianity, dove has come to represent the symbol of holy spirit. Because of people hunting them for food, some of the species of doves and pigeons have either become extinct or are considered as threatened.

In brief:

Dove vs Pigeon

• Both doves and pigeons belong to the same family of birds called Columbidae

• The difference between doves and pigeons lies in their size.

• While doves are smaller and have a pointed tail, pigeons are larger in size and have a rounded tail

• Both are found in almost all parts of the world

• There are large pigeons weighing almost 4kg and there are also doves weighing as little as 22 grams.