Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
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General Comments The Eurasian Collared-Dove is the latest of the relatively few species (along with Rock Pigeon, European Starling, House Finch, and House Sparrow) that have been introduced into eastern North America that have spread into North Carolina and become established here as a breeding bird. This Eurasian species escaped from an aviary in the Bahamas in the 1970's and quickly spread to neighboring Florida (thus, not directly released in the United States). It has fairly rapidly spread northward and northwestward, and the first record for North Carolina came in 1994 on the Outer Banks at Salvo. By 2000, a few breeding populations were established in scattered south coastal towns, and there were widely scattered reports farther inland. However, even by 2017, the range is still mostly along the southern coast and nearby mainland, with a scattering of breeding outposts, mostly in the southern and central Coastal Plain. There are very few established nesting populations yet in the Piedmont or mountains, nor along the northern coast. The species occupies habitats utilized by both the Rock Pigeon and the Mourning Dove, in that it is found in towns and residential areas, mostly open with only scattered trees, preferably near the coast (so far). It is not normally found in agricultural areas (unlike the Mourning Dove), nor is it seen in areas away from man. It is commonly seen on telephone wires and other high perches, typically in yards or along streets.
Breeding Status Breeder; Introduced
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SE
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Breeding, permanent resident; nonmigratory though possibly nomadic; increasing. Locally uncommon to fairly common along and close to the coast from Carteret southward; common in a few places (all in Carteret), such as Harkers Island, Atlantic Beach, Beaufort, and Morehead City. Very rare to rare farther northward near and along the coast (such as at Nags Head). Farther inland (including Tidewater), rare to locally uncommon in small to large towns, mostly north to Goldsboro and west to Hoffman (Richmond), but seemingly absent from many counties, especially northward. Peak counts: 233, Morehead City CBC, 18 Dec 2016; 152, Ocracoke Island CBC, 31 Dec 2015; 90+, Atlantic Beach, 31 Oct 2015; 60, Morehead City CBC, 14 Dec 2008; 38, Ocracoke Island CBC, 31 Dec 2010; 28, Nags Head (Dare), 23 Nov 2010; 20, Goldsboro, fall and early winter 2000.
Piedmont Mostly a visitor, but a breeding permanent resident at only a few sites, mainly in the southern Piedmont. Surprisingly scarce in the province, considering its abundance in many states farther to the west and northwest of North Carolina. Expected to become a widespread breeding permanent resident in the next decade. Absent to very rare in most areas, but locally uncommon in a few places, such as the Conover/Hickory area (Catawba). First record apparently in 1999. Few records (as of 2017) in some major birding areas, such as Raleigh and Durham. Peak counts: 30-40, Marshville (Union), 23 Dec 2008; 6, summer-fall 2000, Conover.
Mountains Visitor, but expected to become a breeding permanent resident in low elevations. Relatively few records, all since 1997 -- in Henderson, Buncombe, and Haywood. Peak count: 5, Henderson, 7 Jan 2006.
Finding Tips Not hard to find by driving around side streets of Morehead City, Beaufort, and Harkers Island.
Attribution LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2017-10-24], LeGrand[2017-08-23]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.
NC Breeding Season Map
Map depicts assumed breeding season abundance for the species.