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Query from: Anonymous, United States, 05/11/10
Topic: ANIMALS AND PETS      Submitted on:
Subject: How best to differentiate between male/female ring necked doves

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Response from: Mridul Bora,   
Council Member on
Source: This information comes from my own knowledge.
Hi Anonymous,

It is really very difficult for anyone to differentiate between a male and a female bird when we see them from a distance, no matter if it is a dove, crow, parrot, pigeon, or a sparrow, or even a chicken. The experts could say it from a distance instantly on seeing the bird. But, for a lay man, it is really very difficult and sometimes one may not be able to differentiate at all.

Here I am giving you few tricks to differentiate between a male and a female bird, specially about a ring naked dove:

1. The male dove would have a distinctively developed claw behind its limb whereas the female will not have it. 2. The size of the male dove is little bigger than that of the female. Actually, the male dove appears healthy and will be little larger than that of the females, who are normally slim and lean. (But, during the time of laying eggs, the female birds develops a little matching that of males). 3. The voice of the male dove would be distinct and coarse whereas the females will be dumb or have a very low voice. 4. Observe the tail feathers of the birds. If there is a slight bend at the tip, than it is a male and if it is smooth and pointed, it is a female. 5. Look around the feathers of the neck. In male doves, the color of the feathers would be more prominant making them to look more attractive. There would be a glaze of different colors over the feathers (we say it as golden glaze as the glaze have a strong elimination of golden over the feathers along with some bluish and redish yellow reflection/glaze) of the neck region whereas, in females, there won't be any such attraction. The neck would be smooth without much differences from the rest of their body parts.

I think these five tips would help you to differentiate between a male and a female ring naked dove.

(REMEMBER: A male bird is much more attractive than that of the female counterpart. This is the easiest and simplest trick if you get to compare the male and female of the same bird).

SOURCE: My own knowledge and experience.

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Response from: sona sona,   
Registered Member on
You can't visually sex Ringneck doves (unless you're breeding for specific sex linked color mutations and you get the specific color you were going for...). Doves typically have both physical and behavioral indicators of their gender. However, some of these traits belong to both sexes, making sex identification difficult. If you cannot determine the gender of your dove, consult a veterinarian about DNA testing, endoscopy or surgical probing, suggests. However, if you don't mind the possibility that your findings could be incorrect, try a few techniques to determine whether your dove is a male or female. Doves Placed Together Step 1Observe the size of the doves. Typically, a male dove is larger than a female. The International Dove Society says female doves typically weigh about 160 g, or about 5 oz., while the male weighs 180 g, or about 6 oz. Male doves often have more square heads than females. If the doves look the same, you may have a same-sex pair.

Step 2Watch for one dove to stick its beak inside the other dove's mouth. If this occurs, it is probably the female sticking her beak inside the male's mouth, according to Dr. Wilmer J. Miller on the website The female is essentially that the male feed her.

Step 3Look for a dove to crouch. Females will crouch down, tuck their heads in and raise their shoulders to prepare for mating. A male will then crane his neck above the female and mount her.

Step 4Observe your dove for the "bow-coo" behavior. Typically, when males and females are together, only the male will perform this behavior. However, when females are placed together without males, they may also act in this way. The dove will coo very quickly while bowing toward the other dove.

Step 5Watch for behavior called "displaying." A male will "display" to the female by inflating his neck and chest and fanning his tail to show his markings. He is attempting to attract her.

Step 6Observe the cage for eggs. According to the International Dove Society, two females who are together will typically lay four non-fertile eggs. A male-female combination will lay two fertile eggs.

Physical Inspection Step 1Hold the dove upright in your hand. With your index finger, touch the dove's pelvic bone. This is located between the dove's legs.

Step 2Examine the area, and attempt to feel the bones. You should be able to detect two bones.

Step 3Note how the bones feel. In most males, the bones are stiff and pointed and almost touch each-other, according to the International Dove Society. In females, the bones are more curvy and rounded and you almost can fit your finger between the bones. However, male doves often have the same pelvic bone composition as females, making gender determination difficult.

The easiest thing to do would be to DNA test them if you really want to know. If they have a chick you already know you have a male/female pair at least. It's quick, cheap and really easy. You can either clip a nail a little short for a few drops of blood on a test card, or simply pluck a few chest feathers and send those in. $20-25 per bird depending on which method you choose and you get results by email in a few days, with a certificate in the mail shortly after.use site… for info. good luck

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Response from: Aleph One,   
Council Member on
Source: http://www.internationaldovesociety…

Many fanciers utilize the sexing of the Ringnecks by doing the "pelvic bone" test.

The bird is held upright & your index finger is run up between the legs to the vent area. For a male the two bones should be stiff, pointed & almost touching each other at the tips. In females the pelvic bones should be more curved, spongy, rounded at the tip & your finger should almost fit between the ends. This is not 100 %, as either scenario can be found on either sex.

Sexing the birds by visual signs is almost as difficult as the pelvic bone test & used as much as the pelvic bone test for sexing the Ringneck Dove. Most times it is the male which does the typical bow & coo to another bird. However, many females do the same bow & coo to other birds & can fool even the best expert. If one becomes familiar with the typical male & female bowing & cooing one can usually detect a difference in the volume & intensity of the female who bows & coos as compared to a male. Many a fancier has set-up same sex pairs – either 2 males or 2 females. The female pairs usually do a better job of hatching fostered eggs (their own eggs will not be fertile).

A god tip to remember – two males will never lay eggs, two hens will eventually lay four eggs with no fertility & a male & female will lay two eggs & with incubation the eggs will be fertile. Ringnecks can & will breed at 5 or 6 months of age; it is best to wait & pair birds of 9 to 12 months of age.

Hope this helps.

More info can be had here:


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Response from: praveen sri,   
Council Member on
Its very much difficult to differentiate between male/female ring necked doves. Males and females look alike and about the only way to tell the difference is by observation. Only males perform bow coos under ordinary conditions. This is the fastest coo in courting behavior, and is always directed at a particular bird with an accompanying head bow. The feet often alternate in "stamping". However, females long isolated from males may bow coo when presented with another bird. Perch coos and nest coos are slower and softer and the nest coo is always accompanied by wing "flipping." Perch coos and nest coos may be given by both sexes. Other characteristic male behaviors can also be taken on by long-isolated females, so are not as reliable. Some of their vocalizations sound like rippling laughter, thus the common name, "laughing dove."

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