I am reading James Scully's translation of Philoktetes (also known as Philoctetes), in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, translated by Robert Bagg & James Scully. Twice it is mentioned that the titular character hunts "doves" as a food source. Here he is describing his life before the play begins:
Time passed me by. Season after season
cramped alone in my cave, I made do
myself. Had to. For something to eat
this bow knocked down fluttering doves.
The bowstring, as I released it, hummed!
whatever I'd hit I had to go after,
step & drag,
hauling this goddam foot.
And here he is ranting after he loses his bow:
What now will befall my days?
Where will I find hope
—in my misery—of finding food?
You timid doves,
once so fearful,
fly freely in the whistling winds
I can't stop you now!
Is there any reason that his prey is specifically "doves"? A significance to that species, or something about doves-as-animals that makes them particularly suited to this role?