Three Kinds of Dove

I find that doves, like many other birds, are elusive and hard to get a decent photo of. Just about every time I’m about to get a good shot of one, it flies off. So even though I’ve not yet managed to get a “great shot” of our doves, I would like to share with you the fairly good ones I have gotten.

Eurasian-Collared Dove

My first dove shots occurred in mid-February, just a week after I had gotten my new dSLR camera. I saw them out the living room window in the big post oak down the driveway. I was very excited and therefore careful not to scare them off, so I just quietly cracked the front door and snapped this photo. The one in the lower left shows the black “collar” on its neck (you’ll have to click to enlarge).

Then I tried opening the door and stepping out to get a better shot, but they immediately flew off.

Here are the two doves cropped individually for a close-up.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

The Eurasian-Collared Dove is not native to Texas. It spread here sometime after it spread to Florida in the 1980s after having been introduced to the Bahamas. It is expected to spread all throughout North America just as it has throughout Europe from the Middle East.

Inca Dove

This picture was taken during the only time I have spotted an Inca Dove. It was fairly far away in the neighbor’s tree. I was lucky to even get this shot.

I’m not absolutely sure this is an Inca Dove. It looked like a dove when I saw it flying to the tree, and the pattern on the wings seem to match that of the Inca Dove. If the picture were clearer I could be sure, but I think it is. If anyone reading this knows one way or the other, please let me know.

Mourning Dove

Just this morning I got this shot of a Mourning Dove up on the electric wire, which is usually the only place I catch sight of one.

The mourning Dove got its name because of the mournful-sounding coo it makes.

My best shot of this Dove, however, happened the other day when it was sitting on our range fence out back. In this picture, you can see the coloring better. Notice the red feet. I kept the seed-heads of the Johnson Grass in there because I think they are beautiful. My all-time favorite grass to look at.

In March I got a shot of the Mourning Dove taking off from an electric wire. Again, not the best shot, but you can see what the wing span looks like.

None of these birds are migrators. All three are seed-eaters, and the Inca Dove will also eat fruit.

Hopefully in the future I’ll have captured some improved shots of Doves. They are such lovely creatures.


“Birds of Texas” by Stan Tekiela

2 thoughts on “Three Kinds of Dove

  1. Is there a difference between the Ringed Neck Dove and the Eurasian-Collared Dove? As children we used to visit a friend of the family who raised and sold Ring Necked doves for consumption.


  2. There are two species that look very similar:

    Streptopelia capicola (Ring-Necked Dove)
    Streptopelia decaocto (Eurasian-Collared Dove)

    From what I can tell, the Ring-necked Dove (also called Cape Turtle Dove) has plumage that's a bit darker and they seem to have a thicker ring on the neck. There may be other differences as well.

    From what I've read so far, the Eurasian-Collared Dove is the one that is common to Texas. I'm not sure yet is the Ring-Necked Dove resides in the area.


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