Collared Dove

Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

Key Facts

  • Length: 31-33cm
  • Wingspan: 51cm
  • Weight: 200g
  • Average Lifespan: 3 years

Collared doves are small, common pigeons found in farmland, woodland, parks and gardens across the country.

Since breeding in the UK was first recorded in the 1950s numbers have increased and the collared dove is now one of the top ten garden visitors in the UK. Collared doves feed on seeds and grain on the ground and are usually seen singularly or in pairs but small flocks may form where there is enough food.

How to Identify

Collared doves are buff-coloured with darker grey wingtips, a black half-collar and paler patches at the shoulders and at the end of the tail. Less colourful than the turtle dove, it also sounds different: turtle doves have a purring ‘turrr turrr turr’ song, compared to the familiar ‘hoo hoooo-hoo’ of the collared ove.

Where to Find

Found everywhere.

How People Can Help

During the mid-20th century collared doves expanded their range from Asia and the Middle East into Europe, becoming one of our commonest garden birds. Their smaller size and gentler nature make them welcome visitors to most gardens and they’ll benefit from food and water put out for other, less common, garden bird species. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there’s plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Did you know?

The collared dove is one of the great colonisers of the bird world, having spread west from Asia it has even reached America.

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