Living Bird Magazine
Eurasian Collared-DoveStreptopelia decaocto
- ORDER: Columbiformes
- FAMILY: Columbidae
With a flash of white tail feathers and a flurry of dark-tipped wings, the Eurasian Collared-Dove settles onto phone wires and fence posts to give its rhythmic three-parted coo. This chunky relative of the Mourning Dove gets its name from the black half-collar at the nape of the neck. A few Eurasian Collared-Doves were introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970s. They made their way to Florida by the 1980s and then rapidly colonized most of North America.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Eurasian Collared-Doves continue to expand their range and can now be found across much of the country. If you live in this species’ range but haven’t yet identified it, take a second look at your Mourning Doves: look for the collared-dove’s prominent white patches in the tail, dark-tipped wings, and the black collar at the nape of the neck, as well as the overall chunkier size. The collared-dove’s mournful koo-KOO-kook call is shorter, more impatient, and more frequent than that of the Mourning Dove.
- Tórtola Turca (Spanish)
- Tourterelle turque (French)
Eurasian Collared-Doves readily come to seed and grain, particularly millet, strewn on the ground or placed on platform feeders. They often nest near houses and other developed areas where food is easily available. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.
- Cool Facts
- Eurasian Collared-Doves made their way to North America via the Bahamas, where several birds escaped from a pet shop during a mid-1970s burglary; the shop owner then released the rest of the flock of approximately 50 doves. Others were set free on the island of Guadeloupe when a volcano threatened eruption. From these two sites the birds likely spread to Florida, and now occur over most of North America.
- People have helped make the Eurasian Collared-Dove at home in North America. Bird feeders and trees planted in urban and suburban areas are cited as two of the main factors in the species’ colonization of the continent.
- The Eurasian Collared-Dove’s species name, decaocto, comes from Greek mythology. Decaocto was a servant girl transformed into a dove by the gods to escape her unhappy treatment; the dove’s mournful cry recalls her former life.
- While most birds meet their chicks’ protein needs with insects, doves feed their newly hatched chicks a fat- and protein-rich “crop milk.” This whitish fluid comes from liquid-filled cells that slough off the lining of the crop, a portion of the esophagus. After 5 or 10 days, the chicks switch to a diet of regurgitated seeds or fruit.
- Eurasian Collared-Doves are one of very few species that can drink “head down,” submerging their bills and sucking water as though drinking through a straw. Most birds must scoop water and tip the head back to let it run down into the throat.
- The oldest recorded Eurasian Collared-Dove from the wild was at least 13 years, 8 months old.