One of the more attractive and pleasant birds to encounter on the islands is the Galapagos Dove. The Galapagos Dove is a tame and well-mannered creature. It is reddish brown with black and white markings, touches of incandescent green, red feet and a bright blue eye ring. The Galapagos Dove grows to measure between 18 and 23 centimetres long. Its beak is curved downward, larger and more curved than most other doves.
The Galapagos Doves curved beak helps it feed mainly on seeds picked from the ground mainly from the Opuntia cactus. Cactus pulp forms part of their diet and is probably their main source of water.
The Galapagos Dove is endemic to the islands and is found in the more arid parts of the main islands. A process of evolution on Genovesa Island has softened the spines of cactus plants and thereby allowed the Galapagos dove access to pollinate the flowers. This has occurred due to the lack of bees that would normally perform this function.
The Galapagos Dove is most commonly seen on the ground where it forages for seeds and fruits. Even if disturbed it is reluctant to take to the air and if it does, it only flies for a short time.
Just like the Galapagos Tortoises, the Galapagos Doves were a food source for sailors many years ago.
When threatened near their nests the Doves will try to lead the intruder away by pretending to be injured.
The Galapagos Doves primary characteristic is its tameness. The Galapagos Doves would land on sailors shoulders and hats in the past and today you can spot one close up with a curious look in its eye.