If you ask anyone what is the difference between a dove and a pigeon, the answer will be color. Doves are white and pigeons are gray. But is that all? Is that even true? What is the scientific difference between these two types of birds? Is there any taxonomic difference between these two types of birds? Well, you’re about to find out.
|Taxonomically: 300+ species of birds from the Columbidae family||Taxonomically: 300+ species of birds from the Columbidae family|
|Linguistically: smaller than a pigeon||Linguistically: larger than a dove|
|Etymology: comes from Nordic languages||Etymology: comes from French|
The word “dove” came into English from the Nordic languages. Scientifically, it refers to all 300+ species of birds from the Columbidae family, although most people tend to categorize doves as smaller birds in comparison to pigeons. Just like pigeons, doves have round bodies, short necks and thin beaks.
Unlike “dove”, the word “pigeon” came into English from French. Taxonomically, the term refers to all 308 bird species from the Columbidae family – just like the word dove -, but people usually categorize pigeons as larger and stubbier than doves. As part of the Columbidae family, they share some features with all bird species: round bodies, short necks and thin beaks.
Dove VS Pigeon
The truth is that the main difference between doves and pigeons is linguistic, not taxonomic. While the word “dove” came into English from Nordic languages, the word “pigeon” came from French. Taxonomically, both words actually refer to the 300+ species of birds from the Columbidae family. However, in colloquial English, birds and pigeons are categorized by size: doves are smaller than pigeons.