(aka: challenge)


The message of this sound depends on when and where it is used. It is an announcement from one dove to another and changes in tone an melody based on the usage. Used by both male and female doves. There are 3 basic uses.

#1 Territorial ownership warning to another male dove that has intruded in the laughing male dove's territory. Normally, this laugh immediately precedes a Bow & Coo. Go to Bow & Coo for more information of this combination.

#2 Successful mating acknowledgement immediately following a mating dismount to let the other mate know if the mating attempt was successful in achieving proper contact between cloacas. If only one of the doves mating emits a laugh, then sexual contact with the silent dove was not achieved and the laughing dove apparently made contact off the mark.

#3 Returning to perch Greeting used by the returning dove to identify themselves upon returning to the perch or nest where their mate is waiting, usually after an absence whether brief or long. 


#1 Territorial ownership warning 

This laugh reminds me of a laughing hyena and probably has the same intended meaning. This laugh is quite loud and maniacal. It sounds like a raving madman cackling wildly when used for this purpose.  Two laughs precede a series of 3 bow and coo's but at the onset, the territorial male may emit a series of loud, insane laughs before proceeding to the bow & coo pattern. Once the Bowing & cooing starts, the number and spacing will generally be consistent.

Click to hear the sound of the announcement laugh or challenge call. Laugh1

#2 Successful mating acknowledgement

This is more of a giggle by one or both doves. Hee hee hee hee hee. It is light, quick and a soft tone. 

#3 Returning to perch Greeting 

Similar to a mating acknowledgement in sound. Hee Hee Hee. From high to low in melody depending on the dove. Low being the last note. More of a giggle to let their mate know that they are back and not an intruding dove. It is short and soft in sound.

Physical Description:  

#1 Territorial ownership warning

The dove is usually standing with head and tail in at the same horizontal level like a pointing bird dog with the feathers raised on his back between his shoulders like a mad dog, emitting a series of maniacal laughs preceding a Bow & Coo.  He will fluff up his feathers to look bigger while he is laughing. This is the attack stance as the territorial male is ready to defend his territory and mate and also used when driving his female mate from an intruding male. The female should retreat to either the nest or out of the battle area one a wing boxing match has begun. 

The territorial male may rush at the intruder and may jump and stamp in front of the intruder. At times, it almost looks like skipping or bunny hops when they are on the ground out in an open area. The laughing male will also bite at the intruder while laughing. During the height of the challenge, the male will aggressively peck at and "Drive" his mate to keep her from having any interest in the interloper. Its a form of "beating up on your dove wife" to keep her from having any interest in another male.

The closer the intruding male, the worse the female is abused and beaten into submission by her mate, even if she has not shown any interest in the intruder.

#2 Successful mating acknowledgement

Female is usually still squatting from mating or just arisen and male has just dismounted or in the process of dismounting when one or both emit this laugh. If both doves do not laugh (as a rule if one dove fails to laugh it is usually the female after the male has missed the target) the silent dove will almost immediately begin aggressively billing with the other dove to stimulate another mating attempt.

#3 Returning to perch Greeting 

Usually the dove emitting the laugh has just landed on the perch or branch after being away so the head is lower and the tail and rear are elevated in a landing stance. This is to announce that it is their mate returning to the nest.

296SPBDchallenge.JPG (31384 bytes)

Male on right is in Challenge position

285SPBDBR-fightA.JPG (60875 bytes)

laughing male on left, bites at intruding male in center, between laughs

251BRBD-mateA.JPG (34768 bytes)

laughing will occur as the male dismounts from mating