Learn to Identify Eurasian Collared Doves

Look for Eurasian collared doves at backyard bird feeders across the central and southern United States.

Eurasian Collard Dove in a Sweet Acacia Tree

Among the four predominant dove species of the Southwest, you will find Eurasian collared doves. I must admit, that I think that they are the most beautiful of the doves that visit my garden. Just don’t tell the Inca dove, mourning doves and white-winged doves that I said that.

Their most obvious visual characteristic is the black collar on the back of their neck. The body is pale gray. Their voice is a “coo-coo-coo” and they also emit a harsh “krreew” when in flight.

Range of Eurasian Collared Doves

These doves are very good at colonizing. Their origins lie in the warmer areas of Asia. However, they began spreading all through Europe throughout the 1900s. In 1970s, the dove was introduced in the Bahamas and it was first seen in the United States in 1982. Since then, they have extended their range to include the entire southern United States as well as a large portion of the central states as well.  They are expected to continue expanding their range and will most likely soon be seen in the more northern areas of the United States.

Favorite Foods and Nesting Habits

Eurasian collared doves tend to make their homes in urban and suburban areas but stay away from large cities. They are not timid and are tolerant of humans. These doves will visit your bird feeder, mostly feeding on the seed that falls to the ground. They also eat insects as well, but grains are their favorite food.

In areas with mild winters, they breed year round and average 3 to 4 broods per year, laying two eggs at a time on a stick nest.  The female incubates the eggs at night, while the male sits on them during the day. The male and female are very similar in appearance and difficult to tell apart from the other. They are almost always seen in pairs and mate for life. Learn fascinating facts about mourning doves.

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.