Collared dove Streptopelia decaocto

Part of the pigeon and dove family, the collared dove can be distinguished from its close relatives as it is smaller and slimmer than a woodpigeon with a noticeably longer tail and a prominent black band around the back of its neck. The majority of their feathers are a pale grey–brown colour complimented with subtle tints of pink of their chests, dark red eyes and red legs.


Usually seen in towns, villages and gardens the collared doves are normally seen alone or in pairs, rather than in large flocks. They build their flimsy nests from twigs, stems, roots and grasses in the forks of tree branches or more rarely on top of buildings. Nests are sometimes so thin that eggs and chicks fall through the bottom.


  • Length: 29–33cm
  • Wingspan: 47–55cm
  • Weight: 125–240g


Classified in the UK as a green list species under the Birds of Conservation Concern report (2015).


Throughout the UK.

When to see

All year round.


  • There were no collared doves in the Britain until the 1950s
  • Originally from Asia the collared dove migrated to Europe and is now one of the most frequent visiting birds in British gardens
  • In flight the length of its tail is proportion to its body makes its silhouette look like a sparrow hawk, causing other birds to become alarmed and go into hiding

Common name

Collared dove

Species name

Streptopelia decaocto

IUCN Red List status

Least concern

When to see in Scotland

All year round.

Where to see in Scotland

Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves such as Loch Ardinning or Montrose Basin.

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