Dove, a bird of the pigeon family. There is no scientific difference between a dove and a pigeon, but the term dove usually refers to one of the smaller kinds of pigeon. The dove has a round, soft, sleek head. Its plump, deep-chested body is covered with a dense growth of soft, smooth feathers. Because these birds are deeply affectionate when mated, the dove has become a symbol of faithfulness. The dove bearing an olive branch is a symbol of peace. In Christian art the dove represents the Holy Spirit.
The mourning dove, named for its sad, melancholy call, is found in the United States and Canada. It is a slender, brown bird with a white-bordered tail; it has a 19-inch (48-cm) wingspread and weighs three to six ounces (85 to 170 g). The shy and timid turtledove, of similar size and color, is found in Europe. The smaller ground dove of the southern United States has chestnut-colored wing patches, a drab pink chest, and an 11-inch (28-cm) wingspread. The inca dove is found in the southwestern United States.The mourning dove is a slender, brown bird with a sad call.
Doves belong to the dove and pigeon family, Columbidae. The mourning dove is Zenaida macroura; the turtledove, Streptopelia turtur; the ground dove, Columbina passerina; the inca dove, Scardafella inca.The turtledove is a slender, brown bird with a shy and timid disposition.