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Pigeon vs. Dove: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Pigeons and doves belong to the same bird family, with "pigeon" often referring to larger species and "dove" to smaller ones; both are known for cooing sounds.
Pigeon vs. Dove

Key Differences

Pigeons, generally larger and sturdier, are known for their round bodies and short necks. Doves, in contrast, are smaller and sleeker with pointed tails and soft features.
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Pigeons are often seen as urban dwellers and sometimes as pests. Doves, on the other hand, are universally recognized as symbols of peace and purity.
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Pigeons are adaptable and often found in urban areas, comfortable around humans. Doves prefer quieter habitats, are seen in rural and wild areas, and are generally more elusive.
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There are numerous pigeon breeds, selectively bred for various traits. Doves are less varied, with a focus on their natural, delicate beauty.
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Both pigeons and doves are known for their distinctive cooing sounds, but pigeons often have a louder and more varied range of vocalizations.
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Comparison Chart

Size

Generally larger
Smaller, more delicate
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Tail Shape

Shorter and rounder tails
Pointed tails
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Urban Adaptation

Highly adaptable to urban environments
Less common in urban areas
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Symbolic Meaning

Often seen as less favorable, sometimes as pests
Symbols of peace and innocence
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Breeding Varieties

Numerous breeds with diverse characteristics
Fewer varieties, more natural appearance
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Pigeon and Dove Definitions

Pigeon

Pigeons have numerous breeds, each with unique traits.
The homing pigeon is a breed known for its exceptional navigational abilities.
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Dove

Doves are globally recognized as symbols of peace.
The dove carrying an olive branch is an iconic peace symbol.
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Pigeon

Pigeons are known for their distinctive cooing sound.
The cooing of pigeons is a familiar sound in urban areas.
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Dove

Doves also make a soft cooing sound.
The gentle cooing of a dove was heard at dawn.
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Pigeon

Pigeons are common in cities and known for their adaptability.
The park was filled with pigeons feeding on crumbs.
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Dove

Doves are frequent subjects in art and literature.
The painting depicted a dove flying against a sunset.
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Pigeon

Pigeons hold various symbolic meanings in different cultures.
In some cultures, a white pigeon symbolizes peace.
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Dove

Doves are smaller and more delicate than pigeons.
The garden was visited by a graceful white dove.
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Pigeon

Any of various birds of the widely distributed family Columbidae, characteristically having plump bodies, small heads, and short legs, especially the rock pigeon or any of its domesticated varieties.
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Dove

Any of various widely distributed birds of the family Columbidae, which includes the pigeons, having a small head and a characteristic cooing call.
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Pigeon

(Slang) One who is easily swindled; a dupe.
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Dove

A gentle, innocent person.
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Pigeon

An object of special concern; an affair or matter.
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Dove

A person who advocates peace, conciliation, or negotiation in preference to confrontation or armed conflict.
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Pigeon

One of several birds of the family Columbidae, which consists of more than 300 species.
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Dove

See Columba.
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Pigeon

(uncountable) The meat from this bird.
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Dove

A past tense of dive1. See Usage Note at dive1.
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Pigeon

A person who is a target or victim of a confidence game.
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Dove

(countable) A pigeon, especially one smaller in size and white-colored; a bird (often arbitrarily called either a pigeon or a dove or both) of more than 300 species of the family Columbidae.
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Pigeon

A pacifist, appeaser, an isolationist, a dove.
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Dove

A person favouring conciliation and negotiation rather than conflict.
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Pigeon

A person hired to transport film footage out of a region where transport options are limited.
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Dove

(countable) Term of endearment for one regarded as pure and gentle.
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Pigeon

A weak or useless person.
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Dove

A greyish, bluish, pinkish colour like that of the bird.
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Pigeon

Concern or responsibility.
It's his/her pigeon.
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Dove

Strong dive
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Pigeon

(transitive) To deceive with a confidence game.
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Dove

(non-standard) dive
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Pigeon

Any bird of the order Columbæ, of which numerous species occur in nearly all parts of the world.
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Dove

A pigeon of the genus Columba and various related genera. The species are numerous.
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Pigeon

An unsuspected victim of sharpers; a gull.
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Dove

A word of endearment for one regarded as pure and gentle.
O my dove, . . . let me hear thy voice.
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Pigeon

To pluck; to fleece; to swindle by tricks in gambling.
He's pigeoned and undone.
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Dove

A person advocating peace, compromise or conciliation rather than war or conflict. Opposite of hawk.
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Pigeon

Wild and domesticated birds having a heavy body and short legs
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Dove

Any of numerous small pigeons
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Pigeon

Historically, pigeons were used to carry messages.
In ancient times, a pigeon would carry messages across long distances.
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Dove

Someone who prefers negotiations to armed conflict in the conduct of foreign relations
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Dove

A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Puppis and Caelum
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Dove

Flesh of a pigeon suitable for roasting or braising; flesh of a dove (young squab) may be broiled
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Dove

An emblem of peace
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Dove

Doves are often found in wilder, more natural habitats.
In the forest, we spotted a dove perched quietly on a branch.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is a pigeon?

A pigeon is a bird known for its adaptability to urban environments and its various breeds.
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Where do pigeons commonly live?

Pigeons are commonly found in urban areas and are well-adapted to living near humans.
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What is a dove?

A dove is a smaller and more delicate bird, often symbolizing peace.
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What are the common characteristics of pigeons?

Pigeons are characterized by their stout bodies, short necks, and cooing sounds.
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Are pigeons and doves related?

Yes, pigeons and doves belong to the same family of birds.
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Do doves have symbolic meanings?

Yes, doves are widely recognized as symbols of peace, love, and purity.
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What are doves known for?

Doves are known for their symbolic meaning of peace and their soft cooing sounds.
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Where are doves commonly found?

Doves are more common in rural and natural environments, away from busy urban areas.
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How do pigeons and doves communicate?

Both communicate through cooing sounds, but pigeons often have a wider range of vocalizations.
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Can pigeons be trained?

Yes, pigeons, especially certain breeds like homing pigeons, can be trained for various purposes.
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Are there different breeds of doves?

Doves have fewer varieties compared to pigeons and are often appreciated for their natural appearance.
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What is the difference in the tail shape of pigeons and doves?

Pigeons generally have rounder tails, while doves have more pointed tails.
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Do pigeons have a significant role in history?

Yes, pigeons have been used historically for message delivery and even in wartime for communications.
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What environmental role do pigeons play?

Pigeons help in seed dispersal and can adapt to various environments.
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What do doves eat?

Doves typically eat seeds, fruits, and small insects, depending on their habitat.
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Do doves migrate?

Some dove species migrate, while others remain in the same area year-round.
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Are pigeons and doves found worldwide?

Yes, both pigeons and doves are found in diverse habitats across the world.
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Are pigeons considered pests?

In some urban areas, pigeons are considered pests due to their large numbers and the mess they can create.
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Can both pigeons and doves be kept as pets?

Yes, both can be kept as pets, with pigeons being more common in aviculture.
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How do people perceive doves?

Doves are generally perceived positively, often associated with peaceful and serene imagery.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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