Zebra Dove



The Zebra Dove: A Small, Gentle Bird

Scientific Name: Geopelia striata
Malay Name: Burung Merbuk

The zebra dove, also known as the barred ground dove, is a charming and peaceful bird found in Southeast Asia and surrounding regions. Known for its distinctive plumage and gentle cooing, the zebra dove is a common sight in gardens and urban areas. Here are some intriguing facts about the zebra dove:

Key Facts About the Zebra Dove

1. Distinctive Appearance:
– Size: Zebra doves are small birds, measuring about 8 inches (20 cm) in length, with a wingspan of around 11 inches (28 cm).
– Plumage: They have a light brown to grayish body with black-and-white barred patterns on their neck, chest, and belly, resembling zebra stripes. Their wings have a more intricate pattern, and their tail feathers are long and pointed.

2. Habitat:
– Zebra doves are native to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. They have also been introduced to other regions, such as Hawaii and Australia.
– They prefer open areas, such as gardens, parks, and agricultural lands, and are often found near human habitation.

3. Diet:
– These doves primarily feed on seeds, small fruits, and occasionally insects.
– They forage on the ground, using their beaks to pick up food items.

4. Behavior:
– Zebra doves are known for their gentle and peaceful demeanor.
– They are often seen in pairs or small groups and are not particularly shy around humans.

5. Vocalization:
– Zebra doves produce a soft, pleasant cooing sound, often heard early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
– Their call is a series of low-pitched, rhythmic coos that can be quite soothing.

6. Reproduction:
– Zebra doves build simple, flimsy nests in trees, shrubs, or even on man-made structures.
– Females typically lay two white eggs, which both parents incubate for about 14 days until they hatch. The chicks fledge after another 14 days.

7. Lifespan:
– In the wild, zebra doves can live for about 4-6 years, while in captivity, with proper care, they can live up to 10 years or more.

8. Conservation Status:
– Zebra doves are not currently considered threatened and have a stable population across their range.
– Their adaptability to different environments, including urban areas, has contributed to their widespread presence.

9. Cultural Significance:
– In many cultures, zebra doves are cherished for their pleasant calls and are often kept as pets.
– They are considered symbols of peace and harmony.


The zebra dove’s gentle nature, distinctive appearance, and melodic cooing make it a beloved bird in many regions. Their adaptability and presence in both wild and urban environments highlight their resilience and charm, making them a delightful sight for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike.