Eurasian Collared Dove in Utah
The Eurasian Collared Dove, simply called the collared dove, is a medium-sized dove. They are unmistakably smaller than the wood pigeon, similar in length to a rock pigeon, yet slimmer with a longer tail and body than the turtle dove. Uniquely, the two sexes are indistinguishable. The body is a grey-buff to pinkish-grey color with a blue-grey patch on the underside of the wings. Its namesake stems from the black half-collar on the nape of the bird’s neck. Collared doves have short red legs and a black bill. Their tail feathers are similar in color to the body with dark grey and white below the tip.
History of the Eurasian Collared Dove
Collared doves are native to warm temperate and subtropical Asia, but were introduced in North America in the 1980’s. The first sighting of this dove in Utah was in Orem in 1997. These doves have vastly expanded in Asia and throughout Western Europe and have become an invasive bird in the US. In an effort to reduce the numbers most states, including Utah, allow year-round harvesting. Be sure not to confuse this dove with the mourning dove. Mourning doves don’t have a black half-ring on the nape of their neck.
Eurasian Collared Dove Behavior
Collared doves often breed and feed close to human habitation, wherever food resources are abundant and ample trees are available for nesting. Breeding takes place throughout the year. The female typically lays two white eggs, with three to four broods per year. These birds are monogamous and share parental duties. Collared doves are gregarious species and flock in sizable quantities, especially around farms and grain sources. Like other doves, the Eurasian collared dove coos a song similar to “coo COO coo”. They also make a screeching sound in flight, just before landing.
Bird Hunting Eurasian Collared Doves in Utah
A great location for setting up motion decoys are wheat fields or in an area between feed and water. As far as guns go, use what you’re comfortable with, whether it’s bold action, pump, or semi-automatic. The use of a modified or improved cylinder choke provides a wider pattern for further distance, about 30 feet out. The Eurasian Collared Dove a tougher shot than the mourning or white-wing doves in which the use of 7 ½ or 6 shot pellet is good for an effective kill. Doves easily detect motion, so move slowly and wear camo gear, don’t forget your orange hunter vest for safety.