Discover 8 Pigeons and Doves in Kentucky (2023)

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The doves in Kentucky remind us of the beauty of nature. You can spot these graceful birds in forests, fields, and even in towns. They often sit on wires or fences, making soft cooing sounds.

In Kentucky, there are eight kinds of doves and pigeons. The most common ones are the mourning dove, the Eurasian collared dove, and the rock pigeon.

The mourning dove is a medium-sized bird with grayish-brown feathers, a white belly, and a black crescent on its throat. The Eurasian collared dove is smaller and has a black collar on its neck. The rock pigeon is the one you see in cities.

There are also some other doves like the white-winged dove, Inca dove, common ground dove, and ruddy ground dove.

Doves in Kentucky

  • Mourning Dove
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Passenger Pigeon
  • White-winged Dove
  • Inca Dove
  • Common Ground-Dove
  • Ruddy Ground-Dove

1. Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove
image: Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves are the gentle, grayish-brown birds you often see in Kentucky. You can easily identify them by their long, pointed tails.

They make melancholic cooing sounds, especially in spring and summer. These species are also the most common doves in Florida.

These birds are quite common and can be found in various places like open fields, wooded areas, and even suburbs.

They’re not here year-round, though. Many of them come to Kentucky in the warmer months to nest and raise their chickens.

When winter arrives, they head south to avoid the cold. They are also common doves in Michigan.

Mourning Doves are important for Kentucky’s environment because they help control weeds and crop seeds by eating them.

They’re also a popular choice for hunters during dove hunting season, which starts in September.

Just remember, if you’re planning to hunt them, you’ll need a valid Kentucky hunting license and follow the state’s hunting rules.

2. Eurasian Collared Dove

Eurasian Collared Dove
image: Eurasian Collared Dove

Eurasian Collared-Doves are Kentucky’s larger and more distinctive doves. What sets them apart is the bold black “collar” on their necks.

You’ll often find these doves making themselves at home in suburban areas.

These birds are known for their adaptability to urban environments, and that’s why they’re a common sight in Kentucky’s suburbs.

They’re larger than the Mourning Doves, which are also prevalent in the state. You can easily find these doves in Colorado.

Eurasian Collared-Doves don’t migrate like some other dove species. Instead, they stay in Kentucky year-round.

Their presence in the state is a testament to their ability to thrive in diverse habitats, including those created by human development.

3. Rock Pigeon

Rock pigeon
image: Rock pigeon

Rock Pigeons, those familiar gray-blue birds, are often seen in Kentucky’s cities. You can spot them perched on buildings and bridges.

These pigeons are easy to recognize with their gray-blue feathers and plump bodies. They make soft cooing sounds.

While they’re known as city birds, you can also find them in other places, not just in the hustle and bustle.

Rock Pigeons are tough and adaptable. They’ve figured out how to live in cities, where they search for food and settle in high spots.

Their ability to thrive in various conditions is why you’ll see them all around Kentucky’s urban areas.

So, if you’ve ever noticed these gray-blue birds hanging out on buildings or statues in your city, you’ve likely seen Rock Pigeons doing their thing in Kentucky.

4. Passenger Pigeon

The Passenger Pigeon, sadly, is a bird of the past in Kentucky.

These pigeons used to be incredibly abundant in the state, so much so that their flocks were described as darkening the sky when they flew.

However, they faced a tragic fate and are now extinct.

The story of the Passenger Pigeon serves as a cautionary tale. In the early 20th century, relentless overhunting and habitat destruction led to their rapid decline and eventual extinction.

The last known Passenger Pigeon, named Martha, died at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.

Today, we remember the Passenger Pigeon as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts to protect the rich biodiversity of Kentucky and the world.

Though they are gone, their legacy lives on in the history books and conservation conversations.

5. White-winged Dove

White-winged dove
image: White-winged dove

The White-winged Dove, although not very common in Kentucky, is quite easy to spot because of its unique features.

It’s a bit larger than the more common Mourning Dove and has light gray-brown feathers with noticeable white patches on its wings when it flies. You can also find these doves in Arizona.

These doves are calm and gentle birds. They often look for food like seeds, grains, and fruits on the ground. When they take off into the air, you might hear a soft whistling sound from their wings.

While you won’t see them as often as other doves, you might spot them in the southwestern part of Kentucky.

They’re flexible about where they live and can adapt to different places, like suburbs, farms, and sometimes even desert areas.

Meeting a White-winged Dove in Kentucky is a special moment because it stands out with its unique appearance and behavior.

6. Inca Dove:

Inca Dove
Image: Inca Dove

Inca Doves are small and have pretty patterns on their feathers. They look like they’re covered in scales.

You might see them sometimes in Kentucky. They’re kind of gray-brown with darker edges on their wings.

They make soft cooing sounds. You could find them in places with open ground, like farms or gardens, but they’re not as common as other birds.

7. Common Ground-Dove

Common Ground Dove
Image: Common Ground-Dove

Common Ground Doves are small and slim. They look delicate and are smaller than Mourning Doves. These birds are also common types of doves in Alabama.

They have light gray-brown bodies with patterns on their wings. Their cooing sounds are low and calm.

These doves like open places with not too many plants, like fields or towns.

They might not be seen as much as other birds, but you could spot them walking on the ground in Kentucky sometimes.

8. Ruddy Ground-Dove

Ruddy Ground Dove
Image: Ruddy Ground-Dove

Ruddy Ground Doves are kind of rare in Kentucky. They are small and have reddish-brown feathers with patterns on their wings.

They usually live in warmer areas, so you don’t see them a lot here. They like places like open forests and fields.

Finding a Ruddy Ground-Dove in Kentucky is special because they’re not seen as often as other birds, and their red-brown color makes them stand out.


In Kentucky, doves are like little messengers of beauty and calm. From the common Mourning Doves in our fields to the occasional White-winged, Inca, Common Ground, and Ruddy Ground Doves, they each bring their unique charm to our landscapes. These birds teach us about how nature adapts and survives. Their soft coos and graceful flights add a touch of tranquility to our surroundings. Let’s cherish and protect these lovely birds, for they remind us that even in the hustle and bustle of life, there is always room for peace and hope, just like the doves in Kentucky’s skies.

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