Thursday, February 2, 2012

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Eurasian Collared-Doves are an invasive species sweeping across North America. Individual birds tend to exhibit long-distance dispersal. In North America, however, the situation is confused by multiple local releases.

Originally this species was found only in India and Myanmar. In the 1600s, they expanded, either naturally or with human assistance, to Turkey. The range expanded again through Asia, in the 1800s, and Europe in the 1900s. In the mid-1970s, 50 Eurasian Collared-Doves escaped and were purposefully released from a Bahamian bird dealer. To save doves from a volcanic eruption in 1976, others were released from the island of Guadeloupe in the West Indies. Soon afterwards, collared-doves appeared in south Florida. By the late 1980s, they were established in the southeast United States. Both by natural dispersal and with the help of many releases (both on purpose and accidental) by private dove breeders, collared-doves have spread across the continent.

Whatever the actual origin of North American populations, little or nothing can stop them now. You should look for them near human habitation. In the midwest, they often inhabit areas near grain storage areas. In more urban areas, they are attracted to bird feeders. Collared-Doves can even survive Canadian winters. Disease may cull some dense populations, but "it seems highly likely that the Eurasian Collared-Dove will become a widespread, permanent member of the North American avifauna" (Romagosa 2002).

The first photograph is this post is from Key West, Florida, in 2011. The second, taken several years ago, is part of a flock of 80 birds near a grain elevator and cattle feedlot in Fort Pierre, South Dakota.


  1. Believe it or not, I actually love these birds. They're some of my favourites. They're beautiful. I have a pair that come to my yard a lot.

    In fact, a couple of days ago, I saw them mating (or at least trying).

    I love hearing their calls. Very mournful, but beautiful at the same time.

  2. i live in mn and we have a pair of collared doves around the area. what will they do in winter?