The Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto, also called the Eurasian Collared-Dove or simply the Collared Dove, is one of the great colonisers of the avian world. Its original range was warmer temperate regions from southeastern Europe to Japan. However, in the twentieth century it expanded across the rest of Europe, reaching as far west as Great Britain by 1960, and Ireland soon after. It also now breeds north of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia. It was accidentally introduced into the Bahamas in the 1970s and spread to Florida by 1982. Large colonies have been noted throughout southern and central Alabama as well. Its stronghold in the USA is still Florida, but as of 1999 it had been reported from 22 states and was still spreading rapidly. It is not migratory.
It breeds wherever there are trees for nesting, laying two white eggs in a stick nest. It is not wary and is often found around human habitation.
This is a small dove, buff grey with a darker back and a blue-grey wing patch. The tail feathers are tipped white. It has a black half-collar on its nape from which it gets its name. The short legs are red and the eye and bill are black.
This is a gregarious species, and sizeable winter flocks will form where there are food supplies such as grain. The song is a monotonous coocoo, coo.
The Eurasian Collared Dove is one of two species (the other, and the more likely, being the African Collared Dove, Streptopelia roseogrisea) that have been argued to be the wild ancestor of the domestic Barbary Dove, S. risoria. It is able to interbreed with the Barbary Dove.