The Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), most often simply called the Collared Dove, also sometimes hyphenated as Eurasian Collared-Dove, is a species of dove native to warm temperate and subtropical Asia, and introduced in North America in the 1980s.
It is a medium-sized dove, distinctly smaller than the Wood Pigeon, similar in length to a Rock Pigeon but slimmer and longer-tailed, and slightly larger than the related Turtle Dove, with an average length of 32 cm (13 in) from tip of beak to tip of tail, with a wingspan of 47–55 cm (19–22 in), and a weight of 125–240 g (4.4–8.5 oz). It is gray-buff to pinkish-gray overall, a little darker above than below, with a blue-gray under wing patch. The tail feathers are gray-buff above, and dark gray tipped white below; the outer tail feathers also tipped whitish above. It has a black half-collar edged with white on its nape from which it gets its name. The short legs are red, and the bill is black. The iris is red, but from a distance, the eyes appear to be black, as the pupil is relatively large and only a narrow rim of reddish-brown iris can be seen around the black pupil. The eye is surrounded by a small area of bare skin, which is either white or yellow. The two sexes are virtually indistinguishable; juveniles differ in having a poorly developed collar, and a brown iris. [Wikipedia]
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. [All About Birds]
Eurasian Collared-Dove Facts [All About Birds]
- 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.
- 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.
- The oldest recorded Eurasian Collared-Dove from the wild was at least 13 years, 8 months old.