The Eurasian Collared-Dove was originally native to India and Sri Lanka, and from the 1600’s and on has expanded its range one hundred fold, being a relatively new species to North America and Michigan, the Eurasian collared-dove is destined to become the next abundant alien species in the coming decades.
Making its way into Florida in 1986, it reached as far northwest as Montana by 1997, and southeast Alaska by 2006. However, the collared-dove is still fairly rare in the eastern Great Lakes region.
The Eurasian Collared-Dove is mostly gray with a white upper body, and a black collar on the back of its neck. It has a slender black bill, a deep red iris of the eyes, and has a broad, squared tail with a black base, with dark red legs and feet. It looks very similar to Mourning Doves, which are smaller in overall size and have no black collar.
In its preferred habitat, suburban/urban and agricultural areas, but will also nest on farmlands, open country, and wood edges. The nests are usually built in trees or shrubs but sometimes on buildings, and the nests consists of a flimsy platform of twigs, stems, roots, grasses, and so forth. The Eurasian collared-dove usually lays two eggs most likely during May and June.
Though it is unclear how the Eurasian Collared-Dove will impact native wildlife in North America, since it has only been here for less than four decades, sightings have reported the bird to chasing other birds including: Mourning Doves, Northern Cardinals, Painted Buntings, and Blue Jays away from feeders and in Florida have been known to prey on small reptiles.
One of the major concerns we’re seeing with this bird is its ability to reproduce, and have populations spread rapidly which outcompete the native species. Similar concerns come in the form of agricultural nuisances, the birds will eat grow grains and the Eurasian collared-dove is capable of carrying the West Nile Virus. If you do happen to make a sighting, you can report this species at www.misin.msu.edu or use the MISIN smartphone app, and report it from there.
This article is part of the ongoing series on invasive species funded in part with funds from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program through the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development