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Eurasian Collared Dove - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 18:24, 15 August 2023 by THEFERN-13145 (talk | contribs) (→‎Taxonomy)
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Photo © by mali
Lakenheath, Suffolk, UK; 12 March 2014
Streptopelia decaocto


In flight. Note the dark "tongues" on the outermost tail feathers are not marked here although the grey crissum area is.
Photo © by riccardo
Italy, 31 August 2008

Length 30–32 cm (11¾-12½ in), wingspan 48-53 cm, weight 125-196 g.
A medium-sized, pale dove with a distinctive black collar around the back of the neck only - does not extend to the chin. The collar is often outlined with a thin white ring on both sides. Dark red eye surrounded by whitish eye ring, grey bill, dark primaries, and a long tail tipped in white.

Similar Species

Very similar to the African Collared Dove and other related members of its genus; in the US, only likely to be confused with feral Barbary Doves, a domesticated form of African Collared Dove. On Tenerife (Canary Islands), may be confused with African Collared Dove. The origin of these birds is uncertain but they are likely descended from escapes. These forms differ as follows, having:

  • undertail coverts white. Grey and often the darkest part of the belly in Eurasian Collared Dove.
  • outer webs of outermost under tail feathers are white and do not have dark tongues extending distally as in Eurasian. The black at the base of the under tail generally doesn't extend much past the crissum. It is often squared off, parallel with the tail but may slope outwards from the centre to the outer feathers.
  • (very pale greyish or sandy colour. Eurasian generally darker, more richly coloured)
  • (primaries show little contrast with the rest of the wing/mantle: notably darker in Eurasian)

(In the above, supporting characters are in brackets.)

The similar Burmese Collared Dove has a prominent eye ring.

Outside of Streptopelia and in North America, the most similar species is Mourning Dove, but Eurasian Collared Dove is lighter in colour and tail is squared off rather than pointed.


A pale buff variety has been noted in Europe, Guadalupe, Florida and California.


Europe to Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, central and northern China, Korea, Japan. Feral populations also recently established in the Caribbean and North America.

Originally native to just southern Asia and the extreme south-east of Europe (European Turkey), it expanded rapidly to the north-west through the 1900s, reaching Bulgaria in the 1920s, Germany by 1946, Britain by 1955, and Ireland by 1963; it then spread a little more slowly north-east and south-west from this first push, reaching Finland around 1970, Spain by about 1980, and Morocco by around 2000. It also reached the Faroe Islands, where it clings on in very small numbers, and Iceland, where it failed to establish and remains a casual vagrant which has only bred on a very few occasions. There has also been some spread at the opposite end of the range, increasing in eastern China and Korea, and reaching southern Japan.

Some recent decline in numbers has been noted in Britain, possibly due to competition from increasing numbers of Common Wood Pigeon and/or improved hygiene (less wasted grain) around farms.

It was introduced accidentally into the Americas in the Bahamas in 1974, soon made its way to Florida, and has been rapidly spreading across North America ever since. Published distribution maps can be considered obsolete very quickly; the species is now established well into the far western states, British Columbia, and the Great Lakes.

Premating behavior called billing is illustrated in this image
Photo © by bru.b
Guéret, France, 27 January 2012


Previously included Burmese Collared Dove.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Pale buff variety
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Lodi, California, USA, 23 November 2019

Mostly suburban and village environments with light vegetation or around arable farm buildings; almost always close to human habitation.



Forages on the ground, but frequently flies to perches in trees. Skilled and fast flyer.


Their diet consists of a variety of vegetable matter, including seeds, grain, fruits and grass.


A twiggy platform nest in a dense bush or tree, more rarely in or on a building. The clutch consists of 2 glossy white eggs which are incubated for 16 to 17 days, fledging around 19 days later. There can be up to five broods per annum, though breeding success per brood is usually fairly low. Eggs may be laid at any time of the year in warmer regions, but mainly March to October in climates with colder winters.


Ringing evidence in Europe during the main expansion phase showed a tendency for young birds to disperse north-westward; this effect has declined more recently as populations increased and stabilised.


Long call given by one individual from a perch, during summer, heard in the file below:

Recording by Alok Tewari
Dist. Jhajjar, Haryana, India, India, Aug-2015.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Birdwatching Magazine
  4. Identification hints relative to African Ringed Dove
  5. Romagosa, C. M. (2012). Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (A. F. Poole, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.630
  6. Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Eurasian Collared-dove (Streptopelia decaocto). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/54154 on 3 March 2020).
  7. Goodwin, D. (1973). The buff variety of the Collared-Dove. British Birds 66:373-376.
  8. Hampton, S. (2006) The expansion of the Eurasian Collared-Dove into the Central Valley of California. Central Valley Bird Club Bulletin 9:7-14.
  9. Hampton, S. (2018) Why are so many Eurasian Collared-Doves leucistic? The Cottonwood Post: https://thecottonwoodpost.net/2018/11/01/why-are-so-many-eurasian-collared-doves-leucistic/

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