Diamond Doves Pleasant Additions to any Aviary (Geopalia cuneata)


Native to Australia, Diamond Doves
(Geopalia cuneata) have become a
domesticated species in the U.S. and
Europe. Perhaps it is due to their
adaptability in the wild (Diamond
Doves live throughout most of Australia)
that has made them such a hardy
species for aviculturists to work with.
Diamond Doves can be housed in
flights or cages. Cages should be a
mini'mum of three feet in length to
allow for flying room. Diamond
Doves can be kept with a variety of
other species such as finches, budgies,
cockatiels and grasskeets. In fact,
Diamond Doves can be housed with
any species that will not harm them.
For breeding, Diamond Dove pairs
should be kept separately. Because

they build such flimsy nests, nests can
easily be destroyed resulting in
broken eggs or loss of babies. Male
Diamond Doves can be aggressive to
nests other than their own.
Diamond Doves seem to prefer
open cup-type nests to wooden
bottomed, but can be found nesting
almost anywhere, even in their seed
cups. Most Diamond Doves will tolerate
your firming up their nests a bit
when necessary. They nest off the
ground anywhere from three feet
upward. Once a pair has chosen a site,
it is almost impossible to get them to
change it.
Two white eggs are laid (rarely
three) and incubation, done by both
male and female, lasts 15 days. The

chicks should hatch a day or so apart,
giving the older chick an advantage at
The young fledge in approximately
15 days and will usually remain on the
ground for a day or so. Sometimes the
parents will become attentive to only
the o lder fledged chick, neglecting
feeding the younger one in the nest.
Some breeders will either retum ·the
older chick to the nest for a day or so
or remove the younger one, placing it
beside its older sibling to ensure it
getting fed.
Diamond Doves can survive on the
blandest of diets, however it is better
to offer them a well-rounded, healthy
diet. A finch mix with red and white
millet and canary seed should be provided
along with soaked seed, whole
wheat bread and greens. Grit should
be offered to aid the gizzard in grinding
food and shaved cuttlebone,
crushed, baked eggshells and/ or
calcium powder mixed with soft food
should be provided.
Diamond Doves have grey wings
sprinkled with white dots resembling
diamonds. The body feathers are greybrown
with white on the abdomen.
Males and females are similar except
that the males' eye rings are far more
pronounced and a brighter reel, especially
when in breeding condition.
Upon fledging, young are a dark greybrown.
They will receive adult plumage
at approximately three to four
months of age . Young Diamond
Doves can go to nest after six months
but it is more desirable to hold them
back until they are nine to 12 months
old to allow for sexual maturing.
As with many domesticated species,
Diamond Doves can produce year
round in most cases. They can stand
weather extremes of over 100 F in
the summer and down into the 40's in
the winter. It is best to offer supplemental
heat sources such as heat
lamps when temperatures drop into
the lower 40's and below.
The silver mutation of the Diamond
Dove is almost as abundant as the
normal and more mutations such as
the white-tailed are cropping up.
Diamond Doves are affordable
birds, often available for as little as $10
per pair. They are very quiet (emitting
only a gentle cooing) and docile to
keep with other b irds. They are an
added delight to any aviary and
remember "diamonds are a girl's best
fri end.