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Eurasian Collared Dove

The Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) most often simply called the Collared Dove is a species of dove native to Asia and Europe, and also recently introduced in North America.

 

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, 30–33 cm long from tip of beak to tip of tail, with a wingspan of 47–55 cm, and a weight of 125–240 g. It is grey-buff to pinkish-grey overall, a little darker above than below, with a blue-grey under wing patch. The tail feathers are grey-buff above, and dark grey 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.

 

It is a gregarious species and sizable winter flocks will form where there are food supplies such as grain (its main food) as well as seeds, shoots and insects. Flocks most commonly number between ten and fifty, but flocks of up to ten thousand have been recorded. The song is a coo-COO-coo, repeated many times.

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Taken on March 24, 2012