Photo Credit: Billy Pope

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Streptopelia decaocto

OTHER NAMES: Ring-necked dove, ring dove, collared dove.

STATUS: Exotic. Breeder. Common in all seasons in Gulf Coast and Inland Coastal Plain regions. In Tennessee Valley and Mountain region, local and rare to uncommon in all seasons, but increasing. 

DESCRIPTION: Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a relatively large dove (11-12 in.), light gray in color with pinkish tint on the breast and a distinctive black collar that is edged in white around the base of neck. The tail is squared off with the central tail feathers gray and outer half white with a prominent black base. The bill is black, eyes deep red and legs and feet are red. Juveniles resemble adults and it is difficult to distinguish between the sexes. The call is of three notes ?oo KOO koo.?

DISTRIBUTION: Eurasian Collared Dove is originally from Asia and was introduced in the Bahamas in the 1970s and later spread to Florida.Streptopelia decaocto currently ranges throughout the southeastern portion of the United States and continues to rapidly spread across North America.

HABITAT: In Alabama, the Eurasian Collared Dove is found throughout the state in urban, suburban and agricultural areas where grain is available. Found in suburbs, parks, and farm groves. 

FEEDING HABITS: Eurasian Collared Doves feed on the ground, consuming mostly seeds and grains.

LIFE HISTORY AND ECOLOGY: A poor, open nest is made of twigs and sticks and two white, slightly glossy eggs are laid. The Eurasian Collared Dove has been in North America a relatively short time and little is known about its complete life history and ecology. Numerous questions need to be answeredŠHow do they survive in harsh winters? What do they eat? Will they become pests? How successful is their breeding? What habitats do they use? Are they affecting native species? Where are they moving in North America?


Hockachka, W. M. 2000. Eurasian Collared-Doves Heading Everywhere. Birdscope, Volume 14, Number 1: 15-16.

Romagosa, C. M. 2002. Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto). In The Birds of North America, No. 630 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Author: Ericha Shelton-Nix, Wildlife Biologist