Collared dove

Collared dove

©Gillian Day

Collared dove

Scientific name: Streptopelia decaocto
The collared dove is a pretty little pigeon that is a regular sight in our gardens, woodlands and parks. Listen out for its familiar cooing call, which you may hear before you see the bird itself.

Species information


Length: 31-33cm
Wingspan: 51cm
Weight: 200g
Average lifespan: 3 years

Conservation status

Common. Classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015).

When to see

January to December


The collared dove is a small pigeon found on farmland and in woodland, parks and gardens across the country. Since breeding in the UK was first recorded in the 1950s, numbers have increased and the collared dove is now one of our commonest garden birds. Collared doves feed on seeds and grain on the ground and are usually seen singularly or in pairs, although small flocks may form where there is enough food.

How to identify

The collared dove is buff-coloured with darker grey wingtips, a black half-collar, and paler patches at the shoulders and at the end of the tail. Less colourful than the turtle dove, it also sounds different: it makes a familiar 'hoo hoooo-hoo' sound, while the turtle dove has a purring 'turrr turrr turr' song.


Found everywhere.

Did you know?

The collared dove is one of the great colonisers of the bird world, having spread west from Asia, it first bred here in the 1950s and has even reached America.

How people can help

Whether you live in town or country, you can help to look after garden birds by providing food and water for them. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit the wildlife gardening section of the website, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started. To buy bird food, feeders and other wildlife products, visit the Vine House Farm website - an award-winning wildlife-friendly farm that gives 4% of all its takings plus £10 commission for each new customer to The Wildlife Trusts.