Peaceful Doves

The world over, members of the dove and pigeon family (Columbidae, with over 300 species) produce musical coos that fall in the mid to low frequency range, adding a pleasant bottom end to natural soundscapes that otherwise might be too shrill for the average listener.

Australia is the home of 18 species and I’ve been busy gathering sound portraits of all that I come across. My favorites so far are two species of the genus Geopelia (small, long-tailed doves), both inhabiting dry sclerophyll forests (multi-aged stands of eucalypts with an understory dominated by shrubs, grasses, sedges or bracken fern).

photo of dry sclerophyll forest

In a dry forested area in Kuranda National Park near Cairns in Queensland, I recorded the gentle, downward inflected coocoo-cookaw of a Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis), set against a pleasing dawn chorus:

Coos of a Bar-shouldered Dove. Recorded by Lang Elliott on 27 September 2012 in Kuranda National Park near Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

In Pillaga Nature Reserve near Coonabarabran in New South Wales, I recorded the coos of a Peaceful Dove (Geopilis striata). Its clear coo-wi-da … coo-wi-da … coo-wi-da is more high-pitched than the Bar-shouldered’s song and has a peaceful quality that I presume gave rise to the species’ common name:

Coos of a Peaceful Dove. Recorded by Lang Elliott on 13 October 2012 in Pilliga Nature Reserve north of Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia.

photo of a Peaceful Dove

These two recordings are both quite soothing and will lull you into a sublime and blissful state if you but allow them to take hold of your psyche. Such is the power of nature’s music, especially when the gentle coos of doves and pigeons come to bear.

NOTE: Please play these soundscapes at a low level so that you are not distracted by subtle sounds, such as wing noises heard periodically in the second recording. To experience the full dimensional effect, listen using headphones or earbuds.


  1. Hello. I have a disabled son who loves doves and he asked me if I could find a cd of Dove sounds. Is it possible to get a cd of the sounds from you?

  2. Starting at 2:31, in the Bar-Shouldered Dove recording, I hear a strange sound. It sounds like a whoosh of air. What could it be? If you know what it is, what is it?

    I hear birds in the beginning of the Peaceful Dove recording that sound kind of like waxwings. I also just realized I said the same thing in the first comment for this blog.

    At 2:11 in the Peaceful Dove recording, there’s a sound with a rolling quality. It’s heard at 2:16 and 2:17 too.

    • I believe the whoosh is wing noise of a dove or some other bird. This recording was made near a waterhole, so there was a lot of bird activity. I believe I even moved my mike setup away from the waterhole because I was hearing too much wing noise from fluttering birds. Once I got the mike in place, I walked away and came back some time later (half hour or longer).

  3. Both are lovely sounding doves. I think I like the Bar-shouldered dove’s songs more as they are more melodic.
    Wonderful recordings. What a treasure trove of sounds you are amassing.

  4. Lang, My new dog went crazy when she heard the cooing of the doves. She just started running all over trying to find them in the house. Love the soothing sounds indeed. Cilla’s brother wants to get on your blog. His name is John Weber. How do you do that? Your sister, Jackie

  5. Excellent recordings! The Peaceful Dove looks beautiful as well. I thought I heard faint wing noise in the first recording from some sort of bird, and in the beginning of the second recording, I hear birds that sound like Cedar Waxwings. What are they? I hear them near the end too.

  6. Lang,

    As I did my morning yoga flow just now, I listened to the track of the aptly named Peaceful Dove, and it was so beautiful and calming. Peaceful indeed. You managed a wonderfully magical recording and I’m delighted to have been able to hear such music from the doves!

    -Kristina 🙂

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