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Mourning Doves have long been one of the most common species seen at feeders in much of North America. Eurasian Collared-Doves are spreading across the continent at a remarkable rate after first being spotted nesting in Florida in 1982, presumably having reached North America from the Bahamas where many individuals were released. Although not as dramatically as Eurasian Collared-Doves, White-winged Doves are also expanding their range. Historically, White-winged Doves were found in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, reaching north only as far as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Early in the 21st century, FeederWatch participants began observing the species as far north as Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska, documenting the dove’s northern expansion.
Click on a row to expand
|Field Mark||White-winged Dove||Eurasian Collared-Dove||Mourning Dove|
|Size & Shape||Similar in size to Mourning Dove (12”) but chunkier.||The largest of the three species, about 13” long, larger and heavier than Mourning Dove.||The smallest of the three doves, about 12” long.|
|Neck||Brown neck with a spot on the side.||Distinct black ring around the back of the neck.||Brown neck with a spot on the side.|
|Wing||Large, white patch along the edge of the wing that is visible when the bird is at rest.||All brown wing with brown edge.||Brown wing with a few black spots.|
|Tail||Blunt tail tip.||Blunt tail tip.||Distinctly long, tapered tail that comes to a point.|
African vs. Eurasian-Collared Doves
Eurasian Collared-Doves are sometimes confused with descendants of domesticated African Collared-Doves (Streptopelia roseogrisea). This dove is a common caged bird (often called a“ringed turtle-dove”) that is rarely seen in the wild in North America.
African Collared-Doves have a dark ring on the nape, similar to their Eurasian cousins, but several other field marks help distinguish them from each other.
Pale tan or grayish primaries that do not contrast obviously with the upperparts
11”, slightly smaller but heavier than Mourning Dove
Relatively pale undertail coverts
Inner portion of tail shows only very limited black, giving the bird a pale appearance underneath
Generally quite pale overall, sometimes almost ghostly
Song is a hollow, rolling, two-part cooing, which contrasts with the Eurasian’s coarse, rapidly delivered, three-part cooing
For more help identifying doves, download our dove guide with illustrations by Evaristo Hernandez Fernandez.
Cornell Lab staff analyzed FeederWatch data to publish a scientific paper about the Eurasian Collared-Dove’s expansion. Learn more.
Visit the FeederWatch Map Room to see where other FeederWatchers have reported these doves and to see an animation of the spread of Eurasian Collared-Doves across the continent.
Project FeederWatch has been tracking the spread of Eurasian Collared-Doves across North America and watching to see if their invasion will have an affect on native dove species.
© William R. Fish
Song or perch-coo (captive bird)
© William R. Fish
Wing whistle from flushed bird
© Virginia Huber, Randolph S. Little
Distress call (captive bird)
© Margery R. Plymire
Wing whistle as bird flushes
© Todd A. Sanders