We know for a fact that doves are some of the most common birds we see during the day because they practically are found almost anywhere in the world. But have you ever seen a dove flying at night? In fact, we rarely do see any kind of bird flying at night. So, if that is the case, do doves fly at night?
Like a lot of other bird species, doves are diurnal animals that prefer to fly during the day and rest or hide during the night. The reason why they do not go out during the night is so that they can avoid nocturnal predators. That’s why they would rather roost or hide during the night.
That said, now that you know that doves are diurnal animals that are active during the day, it is quite easy to understand why you don’t see them during the night. Even though doves may be able to fly during the night when the moon is shining well, the fact that they would rather avoid predators is what prevents them from going out at night. With that out of the way, read more to have a better idea of why doves are strictly daytime birds.
Do doves fly at night?
One of the most common birds you can see on a regular basis is the dove. That’s because, like their pigeon cousins, they can be found all over the world although some may be different species of doves. Still, the fact of the matter is that these birds are quite common to the point that there is an estimated number of about 183 million doves all over the world.
That said, it isn’t uncommon for you to see a few doves flying during the day on a regular basis whether you are in the park or simply at home. These birds will often fly around looking for a place to rest or probably even walk around to forage for food.
Again, you will most likely only see them during the day. So, you may be asking yourself right now if you have ever seen a dove flying or even becoming active during the night. All that said, do doves even fly at night?
To answer that question, we are telling you right now that doves are diurnal animals similar to a lot of other birds and animals in the world. What being diurnal basically means is that these birds prefer to stay active during the day and then rest during the night. In that case, doves are almost strictly diurnal animals that will prefer to fly during the day and then find a place to roost during the night.
The reason why doves don’t fly at night and would rather stay active during the day is due to the fact that some of their natural predators are more active during the night. These predators are nocturnal or night animals that will take advantage of a dove that has made the mistake of coming out and exposing itself during the night.
Some of the nocturnal predators that will not hesitate to eat a dove that is out at night include owls, snakes, and cats. In fact, because of how active owls are at night, they are the ones that are most likely capable of hunting doves that fly during nighttime. And snakes and cats are also quite nimble themselves and are probably capable of catching doves midflight especially when they are on high ground.
That said, doves are equipped with the ability to see well enough at night because they have eyes that are more light-sensitive compared to humans. This means that, if there is enough light at night such as when the moon is out, doves should be able to see well despite the fact that they aren’t really nocturnal animals. Still, they are not the most capable birds when it comes to their eyesight during the night and would rather stay hidden to make sure that they don’t get eaten.
What are the instances when doves fly at night?
Then again, there may be some of you who have actually seen a dove flying at night. This may lead you to think why that is so if we have established that doves are diurnal animals. Well, there are still some cases where doves can fly at night but, in such cases, they are not that active and are just flying for a few minutes to find shelter. Here are some of the instances when doves fly at night:
- Doves will fly at night whenever they are disturbed or startled while they are resting. This isn’t uncommon especially when there might be predators who have found a dove’s roosting spot or nest during the night. So, when the dove was able to sense the predator. It will fly away. The same case applies when it was disturbed by human activity such as when humans startled the dove while it was resting during the night.
- Loud noises can also affect a dove at night. That is why, when there are house parties or gatherings during the night, you might be able to see doves flying to escape such loud noises and to find their next resting spot. This can also happen during fireworks festivals when the nights can become a bit too loud.
- If there plenty of lights during the night such as when the big city is still pretty much alive at night or when there are fireworks or other sources of light that can make the night brighter than it should be, some doves might fly during the night. Of course, the reason why they will do so is due to the fact that the light will allow them to see better and feel safer. Meanwhile, some doves will try to escape places that are too bright so that they can find their next resting spot.
In all of the abovementioned cases, doves will only temporarily fly at night not because they want to but because they have to. Such instances basically force them to wake up from their rest and to fly away to find another spot where they can feel safe at night. But rarely, if ever, will you see doves that are actually very active at night such that they will forage for food or even fly a lot from one place to another.