Birds of the Bible – Coat of Many Colors

Many-colored Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus perousii) ©WikiC

Many-colored Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus perousii) ©WikiC

While working on the Columbidae – Pigeons, Doves Family, I was enjoying the Fruit Doves and their beautiful colors. Of course the verse about Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors kept crossing my mind. Then I actually found the Many-colored Fruit Dove.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. (Genesis 37:3 KJV)

The Fruit Doves belong to the Ptilinopus genus. There are 53 Fruit Doves at present (I.O.C. 3.3) They eat fruit mostly and they may help enhance their colours, at least that is one opinion. “These small- to medium-sized doves generally have short, fan-shaped tails, and are remarkable for their colorful and often glossy plumage, as evidenced in the aptly named Orange Fruit Dove, Flame-breasted Fruit Dove, and Pink-headed Fruit Dove. Males and females of many fruit dove species look very different. For example, the female Many-coloured Fruit Dove shares the male’s crimson crown and deep pink undertail feathers, but is otherwise green, whereas the male has a crimson on the upper back and has areas of yellow, olive, cinnamon, and grey.

Wompoo Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Dan at National Aviary

Wompoo Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) by Dan at National Aviary

This is a large genus, most diverse in and around the island of New Guinea, in the Philippines, and in the biogeographical region of Wallacea. Some species have ranges as far west as the Sunda Islands, others north to Taiwan, south to Australia, and east into Polynesia.

Fruit doves, as their name implies, eat fruit — ficus is especially important — and live in various kinds of forest or woodland. Some species are restricted to primary forest, such as lowland rainforest, montane forest, or monsoon forest, while others prefer secondary forest or disturbed areas. Some species specialize in particular habitats, from lowland coastal forest to the cloud forest or moss forest of high altitudes. Some species of fruit doves are only found in habitats dominated by particular plants, such as mangrove, eucalyptus, or pandanus. Only a few species can commonly be seen around human habitation, these include the Knob-billed Fruit Dove, Makatea Fruit Dove, and Black-naped Fruit Dove, which are known to visit gardens and such.

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Much is still to be learned about fruit doves. Many species are shy and difficult to observe in their natural habitat. For example, there are several species in the Philippines, and for most of them, little or nothing is known of their breeding or nesting behavior.” (Wikipedia with editing)

We have had the privilege of seeing several of the Fruit Doves at the Zoos we have visited. They are so beautiful and colorful. Isn’t the Lord great in His providing them the ability to show off all their “coats of many colors?” I trust you will enjoy looking at the slideshow below and seeing them. These are the ones that I have permission to show. I am putting the whole list of them from the Family pages so that you can view the others.

Rose-crowned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus regina) by Ian

Rose-crowned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus regina) by Ian

Divers colours is only associated with one bird in Scripture and that is with an eagle:

And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: (Ezekiel 17:3 KJV)

“Divers colours” is used 6 times in the King James Version, others translate that phrase as; various colors, beautiful feathers, long, colorful feathers , full of varicolored feathers, of variety,  feathers covered with spots, rich in plumage of many colors, full of plumage of embroidery, having different colors to him, multi-colored plumage, or in full plumage and bright colors.

I think those descriptions can well describe our feather colors  the Creator placed on these Fruit Doves. Doves are mentioned many times in the Bible. See the Birds of the Bible – Dove and Pigeon page.

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Columbidae – Pigeons, Doves Family

Birds of the Bible – Dove and Pigeon


P.S. I’ll be adding more of our as I find them.


6 thoughts on “Birds of the Bible – Coat of Many Colors

  1. Pingback: Wildlife Blog

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