Dove Facts: Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor
Kristin Pia Hayman

Kristin taught for over 10 years in the elementary classroom. She holds a B.A. in Journalism as well as a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

Expert Contributor
Christianlly Cena

Christianlly has taught college physics and facilitated laboratory courses. He has a master's degree in Physics and is pursuing his doctorate study.

The dove is a special bird found all over the world. In many cultures, it is a symbol of peace and good fortune. This lesson will explore the many unique characteristics of these beautiful birds. Updated: 11/11/2020

A Familiar Sound

Coo, coo, coo...

Ever heard that familiar sound coming from a bird? Chances are you are hearing a dove!

Doves are common birds with a very symbolic history. Many religions and cultures celebrate doves as a symbol of peace. The Christian religion uses the dove as a symbol of God, while other cultures release doves into the sky at ceremonies, weddings, and other important events.

The cool thing about doves is that they live all over the world, with the exception of Antarctica. They are pretty hardy birds and can live in desert areas, tropical forests, mountains, and woodlands.

Doves eat mainly insects, seeds, nuts, and fruits but in areas where people feed them, they will eat almost anything. Females tend to lay two eggs at a time, and it only takes a few weeks for them to hatch. In the wild, most doves live around 3-5 years, but in captivity they can live even longer.

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  • 0:04 A Familiar Sound
  • 1:01 All in the Family
  • 1:52 Conservation
  • 2:24 Did You Know?
  • 3:27 Lesson Summary
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All in the Family

Have you ever been to a city park and seen those cute little birds walking around eating crumbs? Those are pigeons and they are everywhere. Most people think of doves and pigeons as the same thing, and they aren't totally wrong.

Doves belong to the scientific family called Columbidae. This family includes all types of doves, but also pigeons as well. Pigeons are usually thought to be bigger and more of a gray color, while people picture doves as smaller and white with their signature long tail feathers. But this isn't always true. There are close to 300 species of dove, and each have their own special characteristics.

Most species of doves share similar characteristics, such as small heads, pointed bills, rounded bodies, long wings, and tail feathers. Their wings actually make up 40 percent of their body weight because of how muscular they are!

Conservation

If you are in a park, it may seem like there are doves and pigeons everywhere. But some species of dove are actually endangered, which means that their population numbers have gone down and they are at risk of dying off forever.

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Additional Activities

Doves: True or False Activity

This activity will help you assess your knowledge of the unique features of a dove.

Directions

Determine whether the following statements are true or false. To do this, print or copy this page on a blank paper and underline or circle the answer.

True | False 1. Columbian is a bird family consisting of doves, pigeons, and sparrows.

True | False 2. Doves are round-bodied birds with big heads, short wings, and tail feathers.

True | False 3. Many species of doves have declined in numbers; some have become threatened.

True | False 4. Doves and pigeons are distributed everywhere on Earth, except in cold areas like the South Pole.

True | False 5. Male doves tend to lay two eggs at a time, with both parents caring for the young.

True | False 6. Doves have high-endurance birds and can thrive in desert areas, tropical forests, mountains, and woodlands.

True | False 7. The typical lifespans of doves in the wilderness range from twelve to fifteen years.

True | False 8. The Victoria crowned pigeon is a beautiful and gentle ground bird, which is considered the largest species of doves.

True | False 9. Some species of doves typically occur in pairs and mate for life.

True | False 10. Both parent doves produce milk in a sac at the base of their spine.


Answer Key

  1. False, because the correct statement is: Columbidae is a bird family consisting of doves and pigeons.
  2. False, because the correct statement is: Doves are round-bodied birds with small heads, long wings, and tail feathers.
  3. True
  4. True
  5. False, because the correct statement is: Female doves tend to lay two eggs at a time, with both parents caring for the young.
  6. True
  7. False, because the correct statement is: The typical lifespans of doves in the wilderness range from three to five years.
  8. True
  9. True
  10. False, because the correct statement is: Both parent doves produce milk in a sac at the base of their neck.

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