Emerald-Spotted Wood Dove

  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Turtur chalcospilos

  • SWAHILI NAME: Pugi-kituku 

Like all other pigeons and doves, male and female emerald-spotted wood doves produce a milk-like substance that they feed to their young.

Emerald-Spotted Wood Dove

Emerald-Spotted Wood Dove



Daily Rhythm




Conservation Status

least concern


55-65 g


Length: 16-20 cm
Wingpan: 11-15 cm

Emerald-Spotted Wood Dove

Trivia Question

What is true about emerald-spotted wood doves?


They are generally regarded as resident birds and do not need to migrate over long distances.

Social Structure

A bird that avoids crowds, the emerald-spotted wood dove is almost always seen by itself, as part of a pair, or with just a few other companions.


Some experts say an emerald-spotted wood dove’s sad call sounds like, “My mother is dead ... dead ... another ... brother is dead, oh boohoohohohoho!”


Emerald-spotted wood doves are more often heard than seen. This bird prefers the quiet calm of the early morning when it leaves its cover for open ground, and walks in a zigzag pattern as it forages for food. When they perch in trees, they prefer to stay within several feet of the ground.


Least concern


Emerald-spotted wood doves search for small seeds, grass, termites, and a few other invertebrates on the ground.


Monogamous pairs may use the same nest for several seasons. Nests are constructed of twigs, roots, and grass, on top of a stump, or in the low branches of a bush or tree. Most incubation is performed by females, but both parents feed the hatchlings.

Friends & Foes

Snakes, shrikes, and mongooses all prey upon the chicks.

Population in Kenya

Emerald-spotted wood doves are abundant throughout Kenya.

Range & Habitat

These birds can be found south of the Sahara, but are more widespread in the eastern and central regions of the continent.

These birds thrive in a range of woodlands, bush, savanna, and cultivated fields.

Did you know?

While most birds sip water and then throw their heads back to swallow, emerald-spotted wood doves belong to the Columbidae bird family, which uses beaks like straws.