The Eurasian Collared Dove is one of the great colonisers of the avian world. Its original range was warmer temperate regions from southeastern Europe to Japan. However, in the twentieth century it expanded across the rest of Europe, reaching as far west as Great Britain by 1953, and Ireland soon after. It also now breeds north of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia. It was introduced into the Bahamas in the 1970s and spread to Florida by 1982. Its stronghold in North America is still the Gulf Coast, but it is now found as far south as Veracruz, as far west as California, and as far north as British Columbia and the Great Lakes.
This small dove is grey with a darker back. It has a black half-collar on its nape from which it gets its name. It forms sizeable winter flocks where there are food supplies such as grain.
Doves have been domesticated for thousands of years. The domestic Ringneck Dove is probably a descendant of the Eurasian or African Collared Dove. A mutation causes some doves to be completely white, and these are often used as release doves for formal occasions.