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Aves Bird of the week - Namaqua Dove - Oena capensis.

The Namaqua Dove - Oena capensis - This small beautiful dove is about the size of a great sparrow. It has a long black tapered tail. The adult male has a black face, throat and breast, a yellow and red bill, with pale underparts. The adult female lacks the black and has a red-based grey bill. Young birds are dark blotched on the throat, shoulders and wings and resemble the females.
They occur across sub-Saharan Africa, absent only from the lowland forests of West Africa and Central Africa. In southern Africa it is widespread and common. It occupy’s a wide variety of habitats, seeming to prefer the more arid habitats such as acacia savanna and arid shrub lands.
These doves are not gregarious, being encountered singly or in pairs, though they may form larger flocks at waterholes. Perches on exposed branches and bushtops. The call is a rather mournful “kuh-whooo. The flight is fast with clipped beats.
This small dove is quite terrestrial, and normally forages on open ground, especially on gravel or on roadsides. They feed almost exclusively small seeds, of grasses, sedges and weeds.
The breeding season is year-round, peaking between July and December. Both sexes build a fragile stick nest in a small tree/bush, One to two white eggs are laid, which are incubated by both female and male for between 13 and 16 days. The young leave the nest after 15 to 18 days.
Conservation Status – Least Concern
These beautiful small doves can be seen on the following Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures: -
Aves Arid Birding Tour / Safari / Adventures.
Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari / Adventures.
Aves KZN Birding Tour / Safari / Adventures.
Aves North East Birding Tour / Safari / Adventures.
Aves North West Birding Tour / Safari / Adventures.
Aves Western Cape Birding Tour / Safari / Adventures.
Aves West Coast Birding Tour / Safari / Adventures.

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