Name: the Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a dove species native to Europe and Asia.
Appearance: collared doves are a grey/buff/pinkish colour. They have black collars which ring half of their necks and give them their name.
Size: they are medium-sized doves, smaller than wood pigeons and similar in size (but slimmer) to feral pigeons. They typically reach a length of around 32 cm with a wing span up to 55 cm and a weight of 240 grams.
Diet: collared doves are comfortable around humans and often feed at bird tables or grain stores on farms. Their main source of food is grain as well as seeds, shoots, and insects.
Did you know: their name comes from the Ancient Greek ‘streptos’ meaning ‘collar’, ‘peleia’ meaning ‘dove’, and ‘decaocto’ for ‘eighteen’. This number comes from a Greek myth in which a maid was unhappy that she was only paid 18 pieces a year. The maid begged the gods to let the world know how little she was rewarded by her mistress. In response, Zeus created the collared dove which has cried ‘deca-octo’ ever since.
Location: they are native to Europe and Asia but have travelled far beyond their native range and colonised a number of other countries. Originally found in Asia, they reached Europe by the 20th Century, and the UK in 1953. They then went on to spread to the Canary Islands and northern Africa, and have recently been introduced to Japan, North America, and the Caribbean.
Where to see collared doves
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see collared doves in the following places:
|Place||Chance to see||User rating||No. reports|
|London Wetland Centre
Photo credit: 9436196 under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay