Asia is blessed with quite a collection of pigeon species. There are over 40 species of these beautiful birds on this continent.
Pigeons are intelligent animals and can recognize humans. In this article, we shall discuss the different types of pigeons in Asia.
These birds can recognize individual humans and even distinguish between family members. They also have excellent memories and can remember where they’ve hidden food.
However, don’t be surprised when others refer to pigeons as doves. They belong to the same family of birds and have no scientific differences.
Most times, the term “pigeon” and “dove” are used based on a country and the language they speak there.
Pigeons are famous and are the best choice among pets for many people in Asia. They’re also seen as a symbol of peace and love.
So without further delay, let’s get started on the different types of pigeons you can come across in an Asian country.
1. Rock Pigeon
The rock pigeon is a medium-sized bird with a wingspan of 25–27 inches and a weight of about 12 ounces. This bird often has a gray appearance with two distinctive black stripes on its wings.
These birds have shimmering green and purple on their chest and neck, and their head is a darker color than their wings. They also have a unique black band on their tail and outer wing feather web.
Although most wild rock pigeons look quite similar, the domestic pigeon descended from this species. There are many different breeds of these birds, and they come in various colors.
The pigeon has a deep bond with humans because of their widespread distribution. It is categorized as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
2. Silvery Pigeon
This is one of the rarest types of pigeons in Asia. The silvery pigeon is a bird native to Malaysia and Indonesia. It is silvery light gray in color with black wingtips and tail. It measures approximately 15″ long and weighs 12 oz.
These birds thrive in both mangroves and coastal forests. Unfortunately, the silvery pigeon is critically endangered due to habitat destruction, hunting, and the introduction of predators.
3. Spotted Pigeon
Spotted pigeons, also known as spotted turtle doves, are native to tropical Southern Asia. You can identify them by the black patch and white dots on the back of their necks.
Their upper parts are light brown, with darker centers in the feathers on their back and wings. Spotted pigeons forage on the ground in small groups or pairs, perching on trees and telephone wires.
They have a powerful, rapid, and direct flight. But they often glide gently when leaving a perch to feed on the ground.
Spotted pigeons are primarily herbivores (granivores), eating seeds and grains. However, they could also add insects to their diet. Although this species does not travel, it engages in some dispersion to settle in other favorable regions.
According to IUCN, the Spotted pigeon is widespread across its range; however, there is no estimate of its total population.
In addition, this species is threatened by habitat loss caused by human development, as well as agricultural herbicides and trapping for the pet trade in some countries.
4. Emerald Dove
The emerald dove is among the different types of pigeons in Asia. It can also be called the green-winged pigeon, grey-capped emerald, or green dove.
They’re widespread in the tropical and subtropical parts of the Indian subcontinent. Emerald doves are stocky, medium-sized pigeons that measure between 23 and 28 centimeters in length.
The back and wings have an emerald green color. The flight feathers and tail are blackish, with broad black and white bars visible on the lower back.
Their head and underparts are dark vinous pink, fading to gray on the lower belly. Also, their eyes are dark brown, their beak is bright red, and their legs and feet are rufous.
This species is found in rainforests and other dense wet woodlands, farms, gardens, mangroves, and coastal heaths. It lays two cream-colored eggs in a scant stick nest five meters high in a tree.
Furthermore, its flight is quick and direct, with regular beats and an occasional sharp flick of the wings typical of pigeons.
It frequently flies low between the sections of dense forests. These birds will rather walk away than fly when disturbed.
You can find emerald doves in pairs, single, or in groups. They spend little time in trees other than when roosting. Also, they’re quite terrestrial, exploring the ground for fruit that has fallen. These birds feed on fruits and seeds and are very gentle and friendly.
5. Common Wood Pigeon
The common wood pigeon is among the types of pigeons in Asia. They are a large member of the pigeon and dove family.
Adult birds have pink patches on their chests and a series of green and white patches on their necks. Young birds lack white neck patches on either side of their neck.
Common wood pigeons occur in Asia, Europe, and Northern Africa. They inhabit shrublands, deciduous woodlands, and cultivated areas. You can find them in gardens, parks, cities, and towns.
Furthermore, common wood pigeons are diurnal birds, spending their days flying, feeding, and perching. Their swift, a rhythmic flight, is accompanied by the occasional sharp flick of the wings.
These pigeons often form large flocks outside the breeding season. Common wood pigeons feed on vegetables from open fields, gardens, and lawns.
In addition, they enjoy grain, pine nuts, certain fruits and berries, and young shoots and seedlings. Sometimes, they eat larvae, small worms, and ants.
6. Pied Imperial Pigeon
This is also among the different types of pigeons in Asia. The Pied Imperial-Pigeon is a big, distinctive black and white pigeon, mostly white.
It has black bands on the underside of its tail and the outer sections of its wings. Their beaks are either yellow or yellow-green.
Pied Imperial Pigeons are fruit-eating birds that take their food from tropical bushes, trees, palms, and vines. They eat under dense tree canopies, but they will occasionally eat in shrubs or small trees close to the ground.
Most of the time, birds that nest or roost on islands travel in flocks to the mainland in search of food. Once they arrive, the flocks split up to find different places to eat.
They commonly settle close to the coast. These birds often forage alone, in couples, or in groups of up to 20 birds on the mainland.
Furthermore, their population has fallen in some parts of eastern Queensland, possibly due to habitat loss, shooting, and other human activities.
However, some populations have partially recovered. These pigeons were once heavily hunted, especially at nesting grounds, but they have been protected since 1902.
7. Thick-billed Green Pigeons
The types of pigeons in Asia also include the thick-billed green pigeon. They are small-sized when compared to other green pigeons.
They have a large, bluish-green eye ring, grey crown, and a pale greenish bill with a red base. Both sexes have green undersides. Their thighs are dark green with whitish scales.
The female’s undertail coverts are pale scaled and greenish. Males have dull chestnut under tail coverts and a maroon dorsum.
Furthermore, you can find them across Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Their natural habitats are moist lowland forests and mangrove forests.
8. Andaman Wood Pigeon
The Andaman wood pigeon looks like a rock pigeon but has a longer tail. Their grey color and red-based, yellow-tipped bill of this fruit-eating pigeon makes it easy to identify.
This bird lives in a dense forest among the treetops. Therefore very little is known about its personality and behavior. Even though it’s difficult to see these pigeons, they signal their presence with a characteristic hooting call.
Furthermore, their population is rapidly declining due to habitat degradation and hunting. The main factors contributing to the population loss are logging and hunting in the dense forest that supports the Andaman wood pigeon.
9. Hill Pigeon
Hill pigeons are among the different types of pigeons in Asia. This bird is a large-bodied pigeon that resembles the rock dove in size and overall appearance.
However, its tail pattern, which consists of a wide, white tail-band across the black tail, distinguishes it most from the dove.
Hill pigeons are sociable animals that gather in groups year-round to graze in the terraced, farmed fields. They often mix with groups of rock doves. They live close to populated areas, camps, and pilgrimage routes and are gentle.
Furthermore, they’re mainly granivorous, adding green shoots, leaves, and occasionally small mollusks like snails to their diet.
The IUCN rates the bird as being of the least concern because of its widespread distribution and abundance.
10. Snow Pigeon
The snow pigeon is a white, black, grey, and pale brown bird that has two subspecies. They’re also among the different types of birds in Asia.
The birds hunt in pairs or small groups in open terrain, consuming seeds, berries, grains, buds, and shoots.
They reproduce in cracks where they construct unkempt stick nests and lay a clutch of two white eggs. In addition, the IUCN rates the bird’s status as being of the least concern.
11. Oriental Turtle Dove
You can also classify this bird among the different types of pigeons in Asia. They resemble many other dove and pigeon species in size and overall shape.
But due to their distinctive plumage, they are hard to be mistaken for any other species. In addition, oriental turtle doves consume a lot of seeds and grains.
They have a reputation for having a harmful impact on agricultural areas, particularly those growing rice, wheat, soybeans, and other crops. These birds also eat herbs and fresh young shoots of some plants.
You can find them in an extremely diverse range of habitats, especially during migration and the winter. They are mostly found in wooded areas during the summer breeding season.
Furthermore, they may use the same habitats during migration and the winter. But you can often find them in open habitats, especially areas with available grains and seeds. They live in urban and suburban areas and are very well accustomed to human presence.
12. Pink-necked Green Pigeon
Don’t you agree that some of the types of pigeons in Asia have pretty interesting names? The pink-necked green pigeon not only has an interesting name but is one of the most beautiful birds in the world!
These birds are widespread in South East Asia. Their range is spread across Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
In addition, these birds are flexible when it comes to their preferred habitats. They make homes in coastal mangroves, primary forests, forest edges, and secondary forests. However, they prefer an open environment, such as the edge of a dense forest.
Furthermore, these birds can adapt to urbanization and human presence. As a result, you can find them staying in human-dominated environments like gardens, farmlands, and plantations.
Don’t be surprised if you find these birds in crowded cities, especially when these cities have suitable fruit trees.
13. Ashy Wood Pigeons
Last on our list of types of pigeons is the ashy wood pigeon. These birds are distributed in parts of northeast and north India, Bhutan, Nepal, northern Thailand, and southeastern parts of China.
Ashy wood pigeon species rely on forests to a moderate extent. They live in different forests and shrubland environments.
These pigeon species live in temperate forests, tropical and subtropical moist lowlands, tropical and subtropical high altitude shrublands, and tropical and subtropical forests. They can be found between 1200 and 3200 meters above sea level.
These ashy wood pigeon species consume a lot of fruits, berries, seeds, and plant matter in their diet. As most of these birds are frugivorous, berries and wild fruits make up most of their diet.
However, they have been seen consuming little snails and other plant matter as food. Furthermore, the ashy wood pigeon is an inactive, non-migrant bird.
After breeding, the juveniles move around and settle in new areas within their range. For grazing and reproducing, they could travel nearby in their range. When food becomes scarce, they may become nomadic.
There you have it – the different types of pigeons in Asia. Pigeons kill insects, which helps to keep the ecological balance in check. Their feathers are also useful as raw materials in various industries. Most people love owning these birds as pets, and they can survive for more than ten years.