Cape Dove (Oena Capensis)
Also known as the Namaqua Dove or the Masked Dove, the Cape Dove is a small beautiful looking dove which ranges through west Saudi Arabia and throughout most of of the South of Africa. The male has an unmistakable black patch which extends from the forehead down into the breast where it gets its common name the Masked Dove. The female however lacks the mask and is more plain in colour. Both sexes are brown which fades to a pale whitish grey on the undersides with black flight and tail feathers. They are around 22cm long and weigh just 40g.
Their nests are made from twigs and are usually found in bushes. The female lays two white eggs which are incubated for around 16 days. The female sits at night and the male during the day.
The Cape Dove lives in sub Saharan conditions, usually dry areas with plenty of grasses to provide food. They tend to feed on small seeds, shoots and weeds. They are usually only seen in pairs, but huge flocks with congregate near water holes.
- Status: Rare
- Life Expectancy: Around 15 years.