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Birds of Exminster - The Collared Dove

Articles - Birds of Exminster

A gentle invader!

The now familiar sight and sound of the Collared Dove, (Latin name Streptopelia decaocto), around Exminster has not always been the case. At one time in was confined to southeastern Europe but during the last century expanded north and west across Europe, breeding in Britain for the first time in 1956. It is often found around human habitation on farms and in or near gardens.

This rather dainty dove (smaller than a woodpigeon) is coloured buff-pink with a somewhat darker back. It has a distinctive black half-collar on its nape from which it gets its name. The short legs are reddish and the bill is black. The iris is reddish brown which can be quite striking when seen in certain lights, but from a distance the eyes appear to be black.


It is does not migrate and so we can see them throughout the year especially where there are food supplies such as seeds or grain. The Balkan countries, where it originally spread from, have very cold winters away from the Adriatic coast and so it seems well able to cope with winters in more northern parts of Europe.

The song is a monotonous ?coocoo, coo? often repeated many times as anyone who has a pair of them living nearby will be able to confirm! All our photographs have been taken in Exminster.
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