Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto

Also called the ‘Eurasian Collared Dove’, this medium-sized bird has a black distinctive half-collar. Its plumage is pale grey-brown, whilst its breast is a pinkish-buff. Sexes are alike. There is no discernible collar in the juvenile, and the plumage is a sandy buff colour. When perched the Collared Dove makes a loud repeated triple “Cu-cooo-cuk”, and may be confused with the sound of a cuckoo.

It picks grains, seeds and shoots from the ground, and also feeds from bird tables. It will also feed on berries in the autumn. The nest is built from a small platform of twigs or rubbish. The female lays two eggs, and has two to three broods or more, all year round. They can live for up to 10 years.

Seen all year round. Found in woodland, parks, gardens, near farm buildings, and in villages and towns. A common and widespread dove throughout the British Isles.

Originally from subtropical Asia, the collared Dove first arrived in Britain in 1955, and although it received the highest legal protection around that time, in 1981 it was revoked due to its successful breeding and proliferation, ranking it as a pest instead of a rarity.