Collared Dove: Identification, Habitat, and Feeding Tips

Collared Dove: Identification, Habitat, and Feeding Tips

The Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a small dove with a long tail and is known to be smaller than a Woodpigeon. They are easily identified with its pinky-brown grey colour, and a narrow black collar (as the name suggests).

The Collared Dove has only been breeding in Britain since 1955 where it had spread its range from the Balkans. They are a common bird that can be seen throughout the countryside, woodlands, and parks and have become more frequent visitors to our gardens.

The song of the Collared Dove is very familiar and sounds like "coo-Coo-coo"; the call is a harsh "kwurr".

Although you'll often see them on their own or in pairs, flocks may form where there is a lot of food available. Like the Woodpigeon it will often associate with feral pigeons exploiting agricultural crops and human food scraps. During the winter season, when food can become quite scarce, they rely on birders to provide plenty of supplementary food and water in gardens.

They like to feed mainly on cereal grain and small seeds on the ground such as Haith's Original Wild Bird Food. It’s perfect for Collared Doves as it contains split grain and smaller seeds that are all eagerly taken if the grains are spread on the ground or an open-topped bird table. It’s a challenge for them to feed from a tube-type seed feeder; however, that won’t stop them from trying. And if there’s a tray attached to the feeder, Collared Doves will happily rest and feed from sunrise to sunset.

Also if offered they will feed on wild bird suet feasts, as they are an important source of a nutritious food that is packed full of oil, fat and protein. These are one of the biggest advantages for the bird lover as it gives the birds higher energy levels. They come in a variety of seed flavours. In cold snaps, these high-fat treats turn into life savers.

Collared Dove

Written by Tina Jakes


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