Learn to Identify a Eurasian Collared-Dove

Look for the Eurasian collared-dove at bird feeders in central, western and southern states. Learn what these birds look like and sound like.

Eurasian Collared-Dove vs Mourning Dove

Collared Dove (streptopelia Decaocto)Andrew_Howe/Getty Images
Look fora black ring around the neck to identify a Eurasian collared-dove

“What’s the difference between the doves with plain gray feathers and the ones with a black ring around the neck?” asks Birds & Blooms reader Wil Bridger of Twin Falls, Idaho.

Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman explain: This reflects a fascinating change in North American bird life. Eurasian collared-doves, the ones with the black rings, are native to Europe and Asia. They escaped from an aviary in the Bahamas in the 1970s and thrived in the wild there. In the 1980s, some strayed to Florida, where they established a population and began to increase in numbers.

Soon they expanded their range toward the west and north into areas where mourning doves, which are mostly gray, are common. Collared-doves are still scarce in the Northeast and upper Midwest, but they are now common all over the southern and western states. A few reached your area of Idaho around 2005, and they’ve been increasing ever since.

There are four predominant dove species found in the Southwest: Eurasian collared dove, Inca dove, mourning dove and white-winged dove.

Don’t miss 25 breathtaking mourning dove pictures.


eurasian collared doveNoelle Johnson
Eurasian collared-doves mate for life.

The Eurasian collared-dove’s voice is a “coo-coo-coo” and they also emit a harsh “krreew” when in flight.

Do mourning dove feathers and wings make noise?

Foods and Nesting Habits

eurasian collared doveNoelle Johnson
Accidentally introduced to Florida in the 1980s, the Eurasian collared dove has expanded its range to more than 39 states and into Canada, Great Backyard Bird Count data shows.

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.

Next, learn more about baby mourning doves and mourning dove nests.

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.