How Long Do Doves Live? [DOVE LIFESPAN]

Doves are gentle birds that people associate with peace and serenity. They are commonly found throughout North America and are also popular birds of choice to keep as pets. But, what is the average lifespan of a dove?

The average life expectancy of a dove is 1.5 years. Where they live can affect their lifespan. Approximately 75% of wild doves die within a year. Doves that live in capacity have fewer challenges to face, leading to a longer lifespan. There have been pet doves that have lived for longer than 30 years. 

There are several factors that can affect how long a dove lives. While wild doves do have a short lifespan, there is no concern about the species going extinct anytime soon. There are approximately 120 million doves in North America. 

How Long Do Doves Live In The Wild?

Most wild doves will only live for 1.5 to 2 years. Now, they aren’t dying of natural causes once they reach that age. Their lifespans are shorter because there are many factors that lead to early death. This includes diseases, starvation, predators, and hunters. 

Hunters only make up for a small number of dove deaths per year. Predators are the biggest threat to wild doves. The #1 threat to wild doves is the domesticated cat. Outdoor cats are responsible for nearly 2.4 billion bird deaths annually. Doves make up a fair percentage of that.

Cats hunt by nature, even if they don’t intend on eating their prey. Doves realize that cats are a threat. If they sense one in the area, they may not return to their nests. When this happens, any dove hatchlings will be left abandoned in the nest and at risk of early death.

how long do doves live
Mourning Dove

While outdoor cats are one of the biggest threats to doves, they aren’t the only predator these birds are hunted by. Other predators that hunt doves include:

  • Foxes
  • Raccoons
  • Oppossums
  • Bobcats & other wild cats
  • Skunks
  • Hawks
  • Owls & more

Dove hatchlings are a bigger target for predators because they are so small. Rodents, like rats and mice, have been known to catch hatchlings. Certain species of snakes, like the rat snake, can be a threat. These snakes will also take the doves’ eggs.

Predators and illnesses aren’t the only things that play a role in how long a wild dove could live. Different dove species have different life expectancies. 

How Long Do Turtle Doves Live?

Turtle doves are a symbol of lifelong love. A healthy turtle dove in capacity could live for 20 years, or even longer. However, when they’re in the wild, their life expectancy is approximately 14 years. They are one of the dove species that can live longer lives in the wild.

How Long Do White Doves Live?

White doves are another species of doves that can survive their first year in the wild. On average, wild white doves live for 3 to 5 years. When they’re kept as pets, they typically live for 12 to 15 years. 

How Long Do Laughing Doves Live?

In the wild, a laughing dove typically lives for 0.83 to 1.5 years. These social birds make excellent pets. The average life expectancy for a pet laughing dove is between 5 and 10 years. However, with precise care and attention to its health, a pet laughing dove could live for up to 20 years.

How Long Do Mourning Doves Live?

There are several different species of mourning doves. The life expectancy of these birds is different per species. Let’s take a look at how long the different types of mourning doves live.

Common Bronzewing DoveUp to 25 years
Fruit Dove4 to 12 years
Key West Quail DoveOver 4 years
Grenada Dove7 years
Galapagos DoveOver 3 years
Inca Dove2 to 7
Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove15 years
Eared Dove1.5 years
Half Collared Dove3 years
Diamond dove10 years
Indian Ring Neck Dove10 to 15 years
Chinese Spotted Dove7 ½ years
Golden Heart Dove5 ½ years
White Wing Dove10 to 15 years
Mexican Ground DoveOver 7 years
Emerald Dove10 to 15 years
Greenwing Dove6 years
Grey Front Dove2 to 4 years
Grey Head Dove3 years
Grey Dove1.5 years
Eurasain Collared Dove10 years

Also Read: Dove vs Pigeon

How Long Do Doves Live As Pets?

Doves have the potential to live their maximum life span when they’re cared for as pets. The average dove will live for 12 to 15 years in captivity. However, many doves are exceeding 20 years when they have the right owner caring for them.

Other than predators, starvation and illnesses are major contributors to the early deaths of doves in the wild. When doves are living with humans, they don’t have to worry about finding food. The risks of getting a disease are lower for pet doves as well. This is mainly because their owners keep them on healthy diets of fruit, oats, nuts, and seeds. With the right level of care, they can live a long and healthy life.

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